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.

Manchester United v Watford - FA Cup Third Round
(Photo by Visionhaus)

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.

Manchester United Training Session
(Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images)

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.

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