Manchester United may already have Eric Bailly replacement as ‘fury’ surfaces
Man Utd: Eric Bailly flies in with two feet in training
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Manchester United star Eric Bailly is reportedly unhappy in the wake of his latest snub. The Ivory Coast international was left out of the starting XI for Thursday night’s victory over AC Milan at the San Siro, with Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire deployed at centre-back instead. And, in Teden Mengi, they may already have the perfect replacement.
The Sun claim Bailly is furious with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with an insider quoted as saying: “Eric has had enough now.
“He simply doesn’t feel wanted or respected by the manager.
“Eric doesn’t believe he gets any answers or explanation about the way he is treated and feels he is the easy option to leave out.
“It’s a real shame because Eric always tells us he loves the club and feels the respect of the fans.
“But it’s got to the point this week where he has to think about his future.”
Bailly could now leave United at the end of the campaign, with the former Villarreal star also unhappy with allegations he regularly breaks down in training.
And, in Mengi, the Red Devils may already have a replacement up their sleeve.
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Towards the end of last season, after Project Restart, the United youngster was given his debut in the Europa League.
Solskjaer rates the centre-back highly, believing he could become a vital asset for the future as they go in search of silverware.
And Mengi has since made a positive impact on loan at Derby County, with Rams boss Wayne Rooney admitting he’d like yo keep the youngster for another year.
“Yes of course,” he said when asked if he wants the 18-year-old to stay at Pride Park.
“He has a big future and a lot of potential, and it is something I will look at and speak with Manchester United about keeping Teden for another year, but that’s not down to us that is down to Manchester United.“
Mengi sparkled at academy level for United before sealing a brief move away from Old Trafford.
And Solskjaer has shown throughout his time at the Theatre of Dreams that he’s prepared to place his faith in youth – just like mentor Sir Alex Ferguson did.
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The likes of Mason Greenwood and Brandon Williams have the Norwegian to thank for becoming first-team regulars, while the likes of Shola Shoretire and Hannibal Mejbri could also soon follow.
In the week, United tied Mengi down to a new contract.
And it’s possible the Red Devils are planning for him to be a bedrock of their defence in the years that follow, especially given Solskjaer’s high view of the teenager.
If Bailly leaves, a marquee centre-back signing may not be on the cards.
While United are open to signing a new defender, their current priority for the summer transfer window is Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.
And Mengi, if he continues to shine at Derby, could save them millions – especially given how Lindelof and Maguire have been in fine form of late.
Meanwhile, the Derby star has admitted he’s enjoying his time with the club so far.
“I’m really enjoying it at Derby,“ he said.
“It’s to be in a different environment with a great bunch of lads and a great manager in Wayne Rooney, who is a legend of this club.
”I think the connection comes there between me and him and he’s shown faith in me. He gave me a chance and I think I took it well.
“It’s good to be playing regularly in the Championship, at a tough level. I think I’m coping well and I’m really happy with it.
“I knew it was going to be a step up from what I was used to playing Under-23s football.
“It’s good, but not Championship football, so obviously I had to prepare myself mentally for that. I think, physically, I’m coming on and am benefiting from playing in that league.
“I was speaking to most of the lads really, when it was coming to the time of making a decision, and they said it will be good for me to go out and have a different type of experience because obviously I’ve played Premier League 2 and I think I did well in that.
“So I needed the next step and a new challenge. I think it’s all fallen into place at the right time for me.
“The move was done quite fast actually. It as around the end of the deadline, a deadline-day one I think, and Wayne just rang me and said it how it is, like he was interested in getting me to Derby. I said ‘yes’ straight away. For me, it was a no-brainer. That is how it came about.
“Obviously, with Wayne, he demands high levels from us. He demands 100 per cent from us every single day and it’s really good because it will make you a better player. He’s gone and done it himself, as you know, so it’s great playing for Wayne.
“It was a good boost to be Man of the Match against Barnsley recently, which was a tough game by the way,“ he continued. ”We had to dig in for 90 minutes and I think that’s the thing about Championship football. Not just against Barnsley and that’s football really.
“It’s good experience for me to be able to have those concentration levels throughout the whole game against tough opposition in a tough league. It was a positive for me.
“There are a lot of learning points for me in that league which is why I think I’m blessed to be there and grateful to be there.
“To be given the opportunity to play as much as I have and given as much game time as I have because I can learn so much. Even just training and being around the lads and being around the gaffer, because of his experience, I just learn so much.”
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