Eric Bailly is now a free agent after Besiktas terminated his contract less than four months after signing the centre-back following his Manchester United exit.
Bailly became Jose Mourinho’s first signing at United after moving to Old Trafford from Villarreal in 2016. The Ivory Coast defender enjoyed an encouraging start to life in Manchester.
However, steadily he found himself on the fringes of senior setup due to his frequent injuries and slew of poor performances. During the 2022/23 season, he moved to Ligue 1 side Marseille on loan, which was underwhelming, to say the least.
United didn’t offer Bailly a new contract in the summer of 2023, opening doors for him to join Besiktas. However, his stint in the Turkish Super Lig turned out to be more contentious.
Eric Bailly set to join La Liga side after Besiktas exit
Earlier this month, Besiktas excluded five players, including Bailly, from first-team activities due to “poor performance and incompatibility within the team.”
Now, it’s been confirmed that Bailly’s contract has been terminated, meaning he’s free to join another side in January. He departs the club having made just five league appearances.
The 29-year-old United flop is now attracting interest from Villarreal, the side where he impressed Europe’s top clubs, including the Premier League giants, in his early 20s.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Bailly is close to joining the La Liga side. He added that manager Marcelino wants him.
Villarreal, who have conceded the third most goals (35) in the league this season, have been pushing to bring back Bailly since last week.