Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is set for a medical with Marseille as he nears a season-long loan move to the Ligue 1 club.
Bailly, who has only made 70 Premier League appearances since a £30m transfer from Villarreal in 2016, was the subject of interested from Fulham earlier in the transfer window.
But Marseille made their approach for the Ivory Coast international and over the weekend were close to agreeing a loan deal that will include an option to buy. Now, 90min understands that a medical has been scheduled for Bailly to complete the switch.
Bailly had not long turned 22 when he was scouted by United and became one of Jose Mourinho’s earliest signings at Old Trafford. But he was quickly a fan favourite and made 38 appearances in all competitions as the club won the EFL Cup and Europa League.
Cruelly, injuries have ultimately defined Bailly’s United career. Of his 70 Premier League appearances to date, he has only made 45 over the last five seasons – including just four in 2021/22.
Bailly signed a new contract at Old Trafford as recently as April 2021, with that deal running to 2024 plus an optional further 12 months. But it was bizarrely only a few weeks later that he publicly declared he would look to leave the club if he was not playing regularly.
“I don’t want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five. If that happens, I will have to look for another solution. The new contract is fine but, if I don’t play, I will be open to listen to other proposals,” he said at the time.
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At Marseille, he will have the chance to play Champions League football this season.
Since Bailly joined United, the club has signed Victor Lindelof (2017), Harry Maguire (2019), Raphael Varane (2021) and Lisandro Martinez (2022) in the centre of defence, with only Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo leaving over the same period, ramping up competition for places.