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Eric Bailly set for Man United return with Marseille unwilling to trigger buy option

Eric Bailly set for Man United return with Marseille unwilling to trigger buy option

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is poised to return to Old Trafford when his loan deal with Olympique Marseille expires at the end of the season.

According to Fabrizio Romano, the Ligue 1 giants have decided not to exercise the buy option to sign the 29-year-old defender on a permanent deal this summer.

Bailly joined Marseille last summer, having been frozen out of the Man United squad by both his injury problems and inconsistency.

The arrival of Lisandro Martinez also pushed the Ivory Coast international further down the pecking order, and he had to settle for a place on the bench.

Shortly after completing his switch to Marseille, Bailly criticised Man United for unfairly favouring English players rather than choosing teams on merit. 

He struggled for game time under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick, and it did not seem like a situation likely to change with Erik ten Hag’s arrival.

Although he was given playing time by the Dutch manager in the pre-season, he was subsequently relegated to the bench when the campaign began.

Bailly switched England for France, hoping to reinvent himself after being constantly overlooked at Old Trafford, but his time with the French giants has not gone according to plan.

The former Villarreal man has only started in four of his 13 Ligue 1 appearances this season despite manager Igor Tudor favouring a three-man defensive set-up.

Bailly is the Croatian manager’s fifth-choice centre-back, with Chancel Mbemba, Samuel Gigot, Sead Kolasinac and Leonardo Balerdi all ahead in the pecking order.

His playing time has not improved since he arrived at the Stade Velodrome, and Marseille have no plans to keep him beyond the end of the season.

Bailly will return to the Theatre of Dreams but will also be available on the market as Man United have no plans to keep the former RCD Espanyol defender.

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