Bailly wanted by Arsenal and Tottenham

Arsenal and Tottenham are keeping tabs on out-of-favour Manchester United defender Eric Bailly, according to reports. Jose Mourinho has not started the Ivory Coast ace since the disastrous 3-2 defeat at Brighton last month.

Bailly, 24, has played just TWO minutes of football from the bench since then. The Daily Mirror claim North London rivals Arsenal and Spurs would both be keen on offering Bailly an Old Trafford escape route. Tottenham failed to recruit this summer and boss Mauricio Pochettino is said to be an admirer of the centre-back from his time in Spain with Espanyol and Villarreal.

The Gunners, meanwhile, have a lack of pace at the back which Bailly would bring. Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho talks about David De Gea’s heroics, Chris Smalling’s haircut and Luke Shaw United signed Bailly from Villarreal in 2016 for £30million.

He was a regular in the team in his first season and helped the Red Devils win the Europa League. But injuries sidelined him at times last term. Mourinho, who did not get his wish of two new centre-backs this summer, started Bailly alongside Victor Lindelof for United’s first two games of the season against Leicester and Brighton.

Both were dropped for the 3-0 home defeat to Tottenham but Lindelof regained his place in the team against Burnley. Bailly has been replaced by Chris Smalling, who scored against Watford on Saturday.

In July, Mourinho insisted Bailly was a crucial player for United. He said: “He is a team boy, he is a great boy. He is an honest man, always ready to give everything for the team. “That is why we have him, why we still have him and why he is going to stay with us because football teams need people like him, like Herrera. “This kind of people where the club is more important than anything else.”

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