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Eric Bailly 'very happy' at Man Utd but has one condition if he's going to stay

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How best to describe Eric Bailly's second season at Manchester United? Frustrating and confusing are two words that spring to mind.

A serious ankle injury at the beginning of November sidelined the Ivorian for over three months - that's the frustrating part.

As for the confusing part, Bailly returned to full fitness in late February but only ended up starting three Premier League games for United.

Mourinho's decision to not play Bailly bemused United fans, not to mention the bizarre explanation he gave earlier this month.

According to the Portuguese, he froze out Bailly in the final months of the season because he wasn't competing for a place at this summer's World Cup, whereas his teammates were.

"There's no situation," said Mourinho earlier this month. "He's fine, no injury.

"He is one of our five central defenders and honestly my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup.

FIFTH IN PECKING ORDER

"But he's the only central defender whose country is not in the World Cup, so if I have to make a kind of more emotional choice to help my players, he's the one I'm not going to help.

"[Marcos] Rojo, [Victor] Lindelof, [Phil] Jones, [Chris] Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup and Eric is not under that pressure.

Manchester United v Crystal Palace - Premier League

"So when I look to the other four central defenders fighting for a position in the World Cup, I'm giving less to Eric."

It's since been revealed that Bailly's absence was actually because he missed one of United's games through illness but reported for training the next day. Mourinho was having none of it.

So what does Bailly make of all this? What are his thoughts on the future and heading into the summer transfer window?

Manchester United v Watford - Premier League

Manchester Evening News claim the 24-year-old is actually "very happy" at the moment and wants to stay - but there is one condition.

Bailly has reportedly made it very clear he simply will not tolerate a peripheral role again and wants to be the main man in defence next season.

Seems fair considering he's United's best centre-back, but considering United are lining up a move for Toby Alderweireld there's a chance Bailly's demands won't be entirely met.

Mourinho needs to give the Ivory Coast international reassurances about his role in the team sooner rather than later, otherwise he risks losing a top talent.

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Topics:
Football
Eric Bailly
Jose Mourinho
Premier League
Manchester United

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