Manchester United have rejected an approach from Arsenal over a potential loan deal for Eric Bailly, according to reports.
Bailly, the defender, became Jose Mourinho’s first signing as Manchester United manager when brought to Old Trafford for a reported £30million in June 2016. Big things were expected of the Ivory Coast international when he penned a four-year deal with the Red Devils, but he has fallen out of favour over the past year.
He rarely featured in the opening months of this season under Mourinho, and has had to contend with limited game time even since the Portuguese’s sacking. Bailly has appeared in just a single Premier League match since Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was appointed manager on an interim basis, and he was shown a straight red card in that game – a 4-1 defeat of Bournemouth.
The 24-year-old did return to the bench on Saturday with his suspension over, but it is hard to see him breaking into United’s starting line-up given they have won seven consecutive matches.
And Arsenal hoped to take advantage of Bailly’s lack of minutes by bringing him to the Emirates.
According to the Daily Mail, the Gunners made an enquiry to United over signing Bailly on loan for the remainder of the season, with the option of making the deal permanent in the summer.
However, United chiefs rejected the approach, as they do not want to lose Bailly at this stage of the season, and also have no plans to engage in transfer dealings with a Premier League rival.