Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is considering whether to sell Eric Bailly in the summer window after becoming increasingly frustrated with the Ivory Coast international, according to the Independent.
Bailly has made just two starts for United since April and was an unused substitute in the club's 1-0 defeat to Chelsea in the FA Cup final. Mourinho has instead opted to start England duo Chris Smalling, who has not been included in Gareth Southgate's 23-man World Cup squad, and Phil Jones.
We would have liked to have finished the season by winning the FA Cup. Unfortunately, it was not to be. Nevertheless, we’ve wrapped up a season in which there were ups and downs. Now it's time to stop, to learn from this season, to rest, and to enjoy our families and friends so we can come back next season even stronger. We’re eager to set new goals and to see lots of smiles in the stands at Old Trafford next year. Thanks for the support you have given the entire team throughout the season. And especially, thank you very much for the love you have always shown me. Let’s go United! 🔴 And good luck to my teammates who are playing in the World Cup! 💪🏾
At the start of May, the Portuguese tactician claimed that his squad selection would be influenced by his players' prospects of playing at the World Cup.
Regarding Bailly's absence from the starting lineup, he explained, as quoted by the Sun: “There's no situation, he is fine, no injury. He is one of our five central defenders and honestly my work is not about World Cups and preparing players for the World Cup or giving chances to players at the World Cup, but he's the only central defender whose country is not in the World Cup.
“So if I have to make a kind of more emotional effective choice to help my players he's the one I'm not going to help. Rojo, Lindelof, Jones, Smalling, all of them are wishing to make the squad for the World Cup and Eric is not under that pressure.
A cause for concern that Eric Bailly was left out of the starting XI, even when deemed fit enough to play. Whatever happened between him and Mourinho has to be put to bed. He’s Manchester United’s best defender by some distance.— Liam Canning (@LiamPaulCanning) May 22, 2018
“I try to be a good team manager and that means a bit cold, a bit selfish but I’m not as bad as that and I still have space for a little bit of feelings so when I look to the other four central defenders fighting for a position in the World Cup I am giving less to Eric.”
Nevertheless, Bailly once again failed to make the starting lineup against Chelsea at the weekend - despite Smalling's omission from Southgate's squad - and Mourinho is said to have become exasperated at how often he can't pick the Ivorian.
Bailly's future at Old Trafford could be decided imminently, with the Red Devils reportedly targeting Spurs centre back Toby Alderweireld - who is yet to commit his future to the north London club.