According to Teamtalk, Manchester United want to sell Eric Bailly to Villarreal in 2021. The Red Devils have been linked with a move for La Liga’s side defender Pau Torres. The Spaniard has been linked with a move to Real Madrid and Tottenham as well.
The 23 years old has a release clause of $50 million but the United are not willing to spend so much. In the Spanish league, clubs have to a mandatory insert release clause in their player’s contract. Torres’ $50 million release clause is a reason why clubs are interested in him.
Manchester United did sign Maguire for $80 million but they still need more defensive reinforcements. The report has also stated they willing to let go of Lindelof, Jones, and Rojo as well. However, they are keener to sell Bailly than the other three. The Ivorian signed for Villarreal for $30 million in 2016.
But his time at Old Trafford has been hit by constant injuries. They are hopeful that the yellow submarines can accept Bailly in a makeweight for Torres. Solksjear’s side doesn’t want to spend $50 million thus in order to sweeten the deal they are offering Bailly.
Will this work for Manchester United?
Over the years Manchester United have become a club that has overpaid for players. The transfers of players like Fred, Pogba, Maguire, Wan Bissaka etc. are some examples of it. It looks like the Red Devils are making an effort to change their transfer tactics.
Unfortunately for them, they are a novice in this game. Villareal is unlikely to accept Bailly as a player in exchange. The question is not his ability but rather his availability. The Ivorian is often injured and the La Liga side would not risk their starter for an injury-prone player.
The bigger issue for United in signing him will be something else. They haven’t started the season very well. With every game they losing ground in the race to qualify for Champions League next season. If they miss out on Champions League football, they can very well forget about Torres.
Other teams in Europe are also interested in him like Tottenham. We have already seen that despite Champions League football Regullion and Bale rejected them to sign for Mourinho. Also with time, other teams might join the race to sign him.
The alternative route for the Red Devils
First foremost thing United must do is to change their image of a team that will overpay for it transfer targets. In 2019, Sporting Lisbon was going through financial crises and they had to sell players. Despite this United could not force them to sell Burno Fernandes for less than $60 million.
Clubs now that they can hold the Red Devils on ransom and get more money for their players. They should not try to overpay for players. Ed Woodward can try to sign Samuel Umtiti, though he may not be at his best they can get him for a lower price.
Solksjear’s side has also been linked with a move for RB Leipzig’s Dayot Upamencano, Ben White and Caglar Soyuncu as per The Athletic. However the questions again arise, can they really sign these players. Even if they can sign these players, will they overpay for them?
Perhaps they also need a change in a backroom change. They are yet to appoint a football director. Ed Woodward still runs the club, he has been criticized for his lack of good signings. Though he has also been praised for his role in the club’s commercial success.