Transfer Focus: Arsenal eye for Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly

According to an exclusive from The Sun, Unai Emery’s Arsenal are eyeing a move for outcast Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly in the summer transfer window.

What’s the word, then?

The Gunners will reportedly seek to open negotiations at £20million for the Ivorian as they set about trying to fix their leaky defence, Emery has admired the player since his days in La Liga, per the report.

Bailly moved to Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 from Villarreal. First impressions were good but the 25-year-old has struggled gradually ever since, making just 11 Premier League appearances all season and not playing a minute under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since early March.

Before transferring to the Premier League, the 32-cap Ivory Coast international made a name for himself in Spain with the Yellow Submarine having moved from Espanyol where he spent much of his youth career – the defensive ace is a tall, physical centre-back.

Good news for Arsenal, bad news for forgotten 24-year-old

While a move to bring a player in Bailly who could potentially revamp the North Londoners’ defence would be good news for Arsenal, it would be bad news for their forgotten 24-year-old.

Centre-back Calum Chambers may have impressed this season on loan at Fulham in midfield, but he was mainly seen in his primary position of centre-half when playing for his parent club.

When the former England international returns to north London in the summer with little more than a relegation under his belt, his chancing of staying will be even slimmer if Bailly is there too.

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In central defence, Emery already has the likes of Shkodran Mustafi, Sokratis, Rob Holding, captain Laurent Koscielny and youngster Konstantinos Mavropanos at his disposal.

The fact that he’s looking to add more players to that list surely means he isn’t giving much thought to Chambers and with his contract due to run out at the end of May, the Southampton academy graduate may well find himself searching for a new permanent club soon.