Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho has become frustrated with being unable to select Eric Bailly on a regular basis and is open to the idea of showing the Ivorian the exit door this summer, according to the Independent.
Bailly is the only central defender currently on the books at Old Trafford who is close to the requisite quality and Mourinho must learn to show more patience and trust in him.
The detailed report says that Mourinho is ‘fed up’ with how seldom he can call upon Bailly, owing to a variety of factors, including injury.
It also says that while Mourinho believes Bailly has the attributes to be among the world’s best players in his position, his frustrations have led to him freezing the Ivorian out in the closing weeks of the season.
That treatment has reportedly baffled other members of the squad, but Bailly is not the only player Mourinho has ostracised – Anthony Martial is one talented player who has also struggled under the Portuguese.
Bailly is the best centre-half currently on the books at Manchester United and it is only he and Victor Lindelof who have the right quality to form part of their defence if the club is serious about launching an assault on the very top of domestic and European football under Mourinho.
Almost like a modern Ledley King, Bailly has been airdropped into huge games – against Liverpool and Manchester City in 2018 most notably – without much in the way of match fitness and performed expertly; his pace in those games has been a particular boost.
Any move for Alderweireld has to see the Belgian come in as Bailly’s partner and as a mentor for Lindelof, who needs to improve to impress Mourinho after struggling to settle in his maiden season.
If any of Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Chris Smalling start the coming campaign at Old Trafford and Bailly does not, Mourinho will have made an awful decision that will jeopardise United’s title hopes before a ball has even been kicked.