AC Milan are planning a January move for Manchester United’s Eric Bailly, sources have told ESPN FC, with the defender becoming increasingly unsettled by his lack of opportunities under Jose Mourinho at Old Trafford.
Bailly, a £30 million signing from Villarreal in June 2016, is expected to be named in United’s squad for the Champions League group-stage game against Juventus in Turin on Wednesday.
But the Ivory Coast centre-half, 24, has not appeared in Mourinho’s team since being substituted after just 19 minutes of the 3-2 victory at home to Newcastle United last month.
Discussions over an extension to Bailly’s contract, which expires at the end of next season, have yet to take place and, while the player is happy in Manchester and with United, sources have told ESPN FC that he fears that he has lost Mourinho’s faith.
Bailly was criticised by the manager for mistakes made during the 3-2 defeat at Brighton in August and then played just two minutes in five league games prior to the Newcastle victory.
United are aware of interest in Bailly from within the Premier League, but Milan have now joined the hunt for the player and are attempting to discover United’s valuation.
Mourinho is determined to bolster his defensive options in January, with Inter Milan centre-half Milan Skriniar and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld the prime targets.
While Skriniar is regarded as a player who could be signed in January, there is little optimism within United that Spurs will be tempted to sell Alderweireld during the season.
But with Bailly struggling to convince Mourinho of his worth to the team, he could be sold to generate funds and create space in United’s defensive pool.
Marcos Rojo, who extended his United contract until June 2021 in March, is also likely to be made available for sale or loan in January after failing to make a single appearance so far this season.