Eric Bailly could be on his way out of Manchester United as Erik ten Hag’s side gear up for a busy final fortnight of the transfer window.

United are reportedly willing to terminate the long-serving defender’s contract in order to get him off the books a year early. Bailly’s future at Old Trafford has been uncertain for several seasons with injuries limiting his contributions since his arrival under Jose Mourinho in 2016.

In fact, he hasn’t appeared in a Premier League game for United since November 2021. Last season, Bailly was sent on loan to French side Marseille.

The Ligue 1 side had an option to sign the Ivory Coast international permanently as part of the loan deal but they rejected it and he returned to Manchester. The 29-year-old is not believed to have a long-term future under manager Erik ten Hag, reports the Mirror.

According to RMC Sport, Bailly has reached an agreement with United that would allow him to leave the club on a free transfer this summer. It would mean exiting Old Trafford a year before the end of his current deal.

Bailly was signed by United for a fee of £30 million from Spanish club Villarreal seven years ago. There are several clubs interested in signing him, including Fulham, as well as sides in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

Bailly is already thought to have rejected a move to Besiktas. It comes after the centre-back made controversial comments regarding the club’s selection policy, suggesting that United favour English players and he called on Ten Hag to change that.

In an interview with The Times before the Dutchman’s arrival as manager, Bailly stated that the club should encourage competition in the dressing room and not prioritise certain players based on their nationality.

“[United] should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance,” he said. “[The club should] encourage competition in the dressing room, not just look out for some. I’ve always had the feeling that the national player was prioritised. That doesn’t happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs.

“Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team. Luckily, Ten Hag has a lot of character and I hope he can change that dynamic.”

When asked about Bailly’s comments, Ten Hag remained tight-lipped, responding: “I cannot say [anything] about that. I was not in charge last season.

“Not for me,” he added after being asked whether a player’s nationality would play a role in his thinking. Bailly has made 113 appearances for the club.

Harry Maguire has also been linked with a move away from United. West Ham had a £30million bid accepted for the England international although that move now appears unlikely.

United are actively searching for another defender in case Maguire does leave and have shown interest in Bayern Munich’s Benjamin Pavard.

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