Manchester United defender Eric Bailly is reportedly seeking 'urgent talks' with manager Jose Mourinho before the start of the new 2018/19 season as he looks for assurances over his long-term future at Old Trafford.
Bailly's United career began with such promise after his £30m move from Villarreal two summers ago, before an injury-ravaged 2017/18 campaign saw the 24-year-old fall behind Phil Jones, Chris Smalling, Marcos Rojo and Victor Lindelof as Mourinho's fifth choice centre-back.
Towards the end of the season, Mourinho claimed he was favouring the others as they were all in with a chance of being picked for the World Cup, while Bailly's Ivory Coast failed to qualify. But the United boss is also famously distrusting of players with poor fitness records.
According to The Sun, Bailly wants to discuss how the manager plans to use him during the upcoming season. The tabloid newspaper notes that while the 24-year-old is 'perfectly happy' at United and there are 'no serious issues', he does not wish to simply be a bench player.
Competition for places is only going to get tougher for Bailly. United are seemingly determined to buy another centre-back, with Toby Alderweireld and Jerome Boateng both heavily linked with the club, while stories of Rojo, Jones or Smalling moving on have somewhat dried up.
Rojo only recently extended his contract to 2021, Jones was deemed by national team boss Gareth Southgate as one of the four best English centre-backs in the Premier League when he was selected for the World Cup, and Smalling's United performances have improved.