Manchester United Transfer News: AC Milan Reportedly Make Eric Bailly Approach

Gill Clark@@gillclarkyFeatured Columnist INovember 18, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 02:  Eric Bailly of Manchester United inaction during the Group H match of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester United and Valencia at Old Trafford on October 2, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)
Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

AC Milan have reportedly approached Manchester United to ask if centre-back Eric Bailly is available for transfer in the January transfer window.

According to Corriere dello Sport (h/t Metro's Coral Barry), the Rossoneri are keen on strengthening their defence in the winter and want the defender who is "considering his options."

Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho also wants to invest in a new defender when the window opens and may be open to selling members of his squad to raise funds, per the report.

Bailly joined Manchester United from Villarreal in 2016 and initially looked set to become a mainstay in the heart of the club's defence.

However, injury and a loss of form have seen him fall out of favour under Mourinho, and he's made just three Premier League starts this season.

His last start came in a dramatic 3-2 win over Newcastle United in October. Bailly was replaced by Juan Mata after just 19 minutes with the Red Devils already 2-0 down.

Mourinho has since paired Chris Smalling with Victor Lindelof in the heart of the Manchester United defence. Football writer Colin Millar offered his view of the duo:

Colin Millar @Millar_Colin

@AngryDots Yeah agree with that, which I think is what Young has but not enough others do. To be fair to Smalling and Lindelof, despite the legitimate concerns, they have stepped up recently too.

Bailly's lack of playing time has led to plenty of speculation. The defender is set to have talks with the club to discuss whether he has a future at Old Trafford, according to Mike McGrath of the Sun.

French champions Paris Saint-Germain are believed to be interested in the Ivorian, along with Premier League sides Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, according to MailOnline's Simon Jones.

There's no doubt that at his best, Bailly is a formidable defender. He's quick, good on the ball and seems to relish the physical nature of the Premier League.

Yet his time at Old Trafford appears as though it might be up. The club are reportedly set to invest in a defender in January:

Sky Sports Premier League @SkySportsPL

📰 PAPER TALK 📰 Manchester United are linked with moves for defenders Diego Godin and Milan Skriniar. All today's transfer rumours and gossip: https://t.co/mVlXmcSkEa https://t.co/Tx3BeQJUe5

AC Milan may benefit from defensive reinforcements. The club are fifth in Serie A and have conceded 16 goals in 12 league outings this season.

The Serie A side are also struggling with injuries. Defender Alessio Romagnoli has joined Mattia Caldara, Mateo Musacchio and Ivan Strinic on the sidelines with a hamstring problem, per Goal's Jamie Smith.

If Manchester United do opt to bring in another defender in January, Bailly could be deemed expendable. He would surely relish the chance to play regularly again, and the Red Devils may prefer to sell abroad rather than to a Premier League rival.