Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Looking at Eric - Lowdown on Reds' Defensive Target

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Looking at Eric - Lowdown on Reds' Defensive Target

Article excerpt

VILLARREAL defender Eric Bailly could well be the first signing of the Jose Mourinho era in a move that has come very much out of left-field but would strengthen an important part of the team. As a move reportedly nears completion, here's a bit more on the transfer target.

Who is Eric Bailly? He's a 22-year-old defender who plays for Villarreal in La Liga and is an Ivory Coast international. Signed from Espanyol in January 2015 for EUR 5m when he had played a handful of games, the young talent has been a surprise package in one of Spain's stories of the 2015/16 season. Villarreal kept 17 clean sheets to beat some good teams to fourth spot in La Liga and made it to the semifinals of the Europa League, with the Ivorian featuring in 34 games.

Why are United interested? While Daley Blind did better than expected as a makeshift centreback, United need a natural defender to partner Chris Smalling -and John Stones did not enjoy a terrific season. …

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