Aston Villa: £80k-a-week star could favour move to Villa Park

Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard looking focused

Aston Villa could win the race for Eric Bailly as the Manchester United defender may see a switch to Villa Park as a ‘better move’ than to any of his other suitors, according to talkSPORT reporter Alex Crook.

The Midlands outfit registered their first win of the season thanks to overcoming Everton at the weekend, but head coach Steven Gerrard could still welcome reinforcements into his squad before the September 1 deadline.

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What’s the latest news involving Bailly?

Villa’s victory over Everton came at a cost as Diego Carlos, who only joined in a £26million switch from Spanish giants Sevilla two months ago, ruptured his Achilles’ tendon.

The Brazilian’s long-term injury is expected to lead to Gerrard recruiting another centre-half ahead of the transfer window slamming shut.

Villa could reportedly look to land Manchester United ace Bailly due to him being a relatively cheap option and offering plenty of Premier League experience.

However, the 44-cap Ivory Coast international is also attracting attention from elsewhere, so Gerrard will have to move quickly if he wants to get a deal over the line.

It is understood that Manchester United have fielded inquiries from several teams – with West Ham United, Marseille and Monaco the latest to make contact – and talks are progressing.

What has Alex Crook said about Bailly?

Crook believes a move to Villa Park may be preferable to a switch to West Ham, Marseille or Monaco for Bailly.

However, the talkSPORT reporter has doubts as to whether Gerrard will strengthen his interest due to the 28-year-old’s injury record.

Crook told GIVEMESPORT: “You’d probably think if you were Eric Bailly that Aston Villa would be a better move.

“I just wonder if Gerrard will be willing to take that big a risk on a player who’s had injury problems himself.

“But, if you’re looking internally, then he is probably the best and most accessible option.”

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Is Bailly available permanently or on loan?

According to The Athletic, Manchester United would prefer to offload Bailly but a loan move away from Old Trafford is also a possibility.

The report suggests the central defender’s £80,000-per-week salary could be a hurdle that his suitors are unable to overcome.

Bailly has missed more than 100 matches through injury since joining the Red Devils, which will be of huge concern to Gerrard.

As a result, Villa may be better off looking to sign Bailly on a temporary basis rather than taking their summer spending beyond the £50million mark.