Eric Bailly Sheds Light On Man United’s Arch-Rivals’ Failed Attempt To Sign Him

Manchester United's Eric Bailly celebrates with the trophy after winning the EFL Cup Final.

Reuters / John Sibley

Manchester United’s star center-back Eric Bailly has revealed that Manchester City made a last-ditch attempt to sign him in the summer.

The Ivory Coast international has been hugely impressive since joining the Red Devils, and many expect the 22-year-old to develop into one of the best defenders in the world. But as of now, the youngster’s enormous talent is there for everyone to see, which is precisely why Manchester United had to fight a host of other clubs – including inter-city rivals Manchester City – to secure his services.

Bailly recently spoke about City’s interest in him, by stating (via The Sun): “Manchester City were interested in me, but it was Manchester United who contacted me directly – in the form of Jose Mourinho himself. He is one of the best managers in the world, he wanted me to join United and I accepted.

“I was at a good Spanish club in Villarreal, but when a team as prestigious as Manchester United makes you an offer it is hard to say no.

“That is despite the fact I had not planned to leave Villarreal so soon, and I knew I would get less playing time at United. But I knew that I would improve under a coach like Mourinho, and with teammates such as Wayne Rooney, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Juan Mata.

“They are players who have won lots of trophies but are still hungry for more. They are true examples of professionalism, and I draw great inspiration from them. And despite everything I have played 27 games for United in all competitions.”

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Bailly then explained his team’s aspirations for the rest of the season, and also spoke about how he is living the dream at the Theatre of Dreams.

“At United we aim to win the Europa League and to qualify for next season’s Champions League,” he continued. “It will be very hard to win the Premier League, but it would be great if we can achieve those other two objectives.

“I have always dreamt about playing for a good club. I moved to Spain thanks to Espanyol, who spotted me in a tournament in Burkina Faso when I was 16. It was all new for me at the start, living away from my parents, but I dug in.

“Villarreal signed me after going to Barcelona to watch me, and now I am at Manchester United. It is truly beautiful what has happened with me.”


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