Tottenham Hotspur could launch a surprise move for Eric Bailly in the January transfer window…
That’s according to Sunday Times journalist Duncan Castles. who delivered the stunning claim on this week’s edition of ‘The Transfer Window’ podcast, where he said:
“Conte, one of the things he’s asking for in January is not one, but two starting centre-backs, this isn’t a big surprise when you look at what the two previous managers thought of the centre-backs. [Mauricio] Pochettino and [Jose] Mourinho wanted significant upgrades there, while [Nuno] Espirito Santo also wanted further upgrades on top of Cristian Romero.
“Look at what [Antonio] Conte has been doing, this weekend he started with Ben Davies and Japhet Tanganga alongside Eric Dier who was picked ahead of Davinson Sanchez, who should be a starter given the significant amount spent on him.
“Conte feels it’s fundamental to improve at centre-back to get his back-five system working properly.
“Options, one of the individuals they’re in discussions about, although as I understand it, there’s been no offer made at this point, is a Manchester United player, Eric Bailly, he’s someone Conte likes and he looked at him as a possible recruit at Inter.”
This could be a disastrous decision from the Spurs boss and Fabio Paratici’s recruitment team this winter, as the Manchester United defender is an injury-prone and inconsistent defender who probably wouldn’t solve their defensive problems.
It is true that the north Londoners need further additions, even more so with Conte electing for a back-three, but with Romero facing a serious stint on the sidelines, the Italian is left with several players that he may not be able to trust.
He was already having to play a left-back in the middle and now he has to choose between the three centre-backs who played their part in Thursday’s embarrassing defeat to NS Mura to feature alongside Dier and Davies.
An injury-prone Bailly is far from the solution, with the Lilywhites in need of reliable quality to improve their terrible goal difference – they have the worst such record of any Premier League side ranked 16th or above.
“My only issue with Eric Bailly has always been his fitness, he can never stay fit. He’s always injured or a game away from an injury, and that’s a problem,” once claimed Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand. “You don’t get that consistency of performance or get to know each other.”
Valued at just £9m and thought to be earning wages of around £80k-per-week at Old Trafford, the Ivory Coast colossus has missed a total of 99 matches since arriving in Manchester in £30m move from Villarreal back in June 2016.
When he has been on the pitch, he has very rarely delivered.
“He’s a rash defender and he seems like he’s always got a mistake in him,” suggested Trevor Sinclair on talkSPORT in recent weeks. “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks and the ship has sailed for Bailly. He’ll never be the composed defender Man United need.”
The Hotspur Way faithful should be hugely worried by the prospect of wasting money on the 27-year-old flop at the turn of the year.
Therefore, a move for Bailly in January would seem like a disaster waiting to happen for Conte and co. They must steer clear of him at all costs, as there are much better and more suitable options out there.
AND in other news, Antonio Conte could repeat Cesc Fabregas trick with “unplayable” Spurs star…