Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be out of action for four to five months after undergoing knee surgery.

The Ivory Coast international, who has struggled with injuries throughout his time at Old Trafford, picked up the problem during the pre-season friendly against Tottenham in Shanghai​.

Speaking after United's 1-0 victory over Kristiansund on Tuesday, Solskjaer confirmed he would not have Bailly available for first team selection until Christmas at the earliest.

Solskjaer said, as quoted by ​the Mirror"Eric has had an operation and will be out for four to five months.

"Hopefully we'll have him back around Christmas time."

Bailly had a problem with his right knee last season which ruled him out for a similar period of time, and now the 25-year-old has another gruelling spell of rehabilitation to look forward to.

​United have been linked with moves for centre backs during the last few windows, with this summer seeing them frequently associated with Leicester star Harry Maguire, but whether the news of Bailly's absence will see the club accelerate their pursuit of the England international remains to be seen.

Eric Bailly

Victor Lindelof has established himself as one of United's finer centre backs, but the injury to Bailly could see Phil Jones or Chris Smalling handed the chance to impress against Chelsea in the Red Devils' first Premier League game of the season next week.

Bailly made 38 appearances for United during the 2016/17 season, his first with the club, but has managed just 18 each in the last two campaigns.