Manchester United want Eric Bailly to prove his fitness before offering him a new long-term deal, according to ESPN.
The 26-year-old is approaching the final year of his contract.
United have apparently contacted his representatives about the situation but have not definitively decided whether to offer him a new deal.
That’s because the Ivorian hasn’t had a season without injury problems holding him back since he arrived at Old Trafford in 2016.
Solskjaer is a fan of Bailly and has been impressed by his performances, but he also wants to sign a new central defender in the summer.
Bailly could be part of the central defensive solution for United, but his fitness cannot be relied upon.
He put together a strong run of games between Christmas and New Year, but then missed a month of football.
It’s up to Bailly to prove in the closing months of the season that Solskjaer can call on him when required.
Bailly is an incredibly popular player and it would be great if he could overcome his fitness woes to play a big part in the business end of the season.
But it is easy to see why the club would be concerned over committing to another multi-million, long-term deal for a player who is injured so often.
Bailly’s contract situation also raises the prospect – although it is not mentioned in the report – that he could leave this summer.
That’s because if he doesn’t sign a new deal, his transfer value is only going to dwindle and United might need the funds to put towards buying Solskjaer’s central defensive target – whoever that proves to be.
It would be a real shame if Bailly is unable to prove his fitness to the extent that he is rewarded with a new deal, so a potentially huge couple of months await for him.
- Is Man Utd vs Villa on TV? Kick off time, team news and prediction
- Solskjaer says de Gea has been smashing personal bests in United’s fitness tests
- Predicted Manchester United line-up v Aston Villa
- Cristiano Ronaldo’s record against Aston Villa
- David de Gea excited by Cristiano Ronaldo’s early impact