Jose Mourinho has completed his first transfer as Man United boss with the arrival of Villarreal defender Eric Bailly, who makes the switch to the Red Devils in a £30m deal.
The 22-year-old completed a medical on Tuesday evening with a £30m fee being agreed between the two club’s and signs a four-year contract with the option to extend by a further two seasons.
In a statement on the club’s website, Bailly said it was a dream to sign for the greatest club in the world and looks forward to working with new Man United manager Jose Mourinho.
“It is a dream come true to be joining Manchester United,” said the Ivory Coast international.
“I want to progress to be the best that I can be and I believe working with Jose Mourinho will help me develop in the right way and at the right club.
” To play football at the highest level is all I have ever wanted to do. I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to starting this new chapter of my life.”
Bailly joined Villarreal for £4.4m from fellow La Liga side Espanyol in January 2015 and made 25 appearances for the Yellow Submarine and was part of the team that got to the Europa League semi-finals last season.
He also made his debut for the country in 2015 and played every game at the 2015 African Cup of Nations that saw the Elephants win the tournament for the first time in 23 years.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) June 8, 2016
After securing his first signing as Man United boss, Mourinho believes Bailly is destined for success and looks forward to seeing him fulfil his potential with the Red Devils.
“Eric is a young central defender with great natural talent,” said the 53-year-old.
“He has progressed well to date and has the potential to become one of the best around. We look forward to working with him to help nurture that raw talent and fulfil his potential. Eric is at the right club to continue his development.”
Bailly could be joined by Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic in moving to Old Trafford by the end of the week, as Mourinho hopes to wrap up a deal to make the former PSG striker his second signing before Euro 2016.
It’s hard to judge whether or not Eric Bailly will be a success at Man United because I had never heard of him until last week. However, it United think he is worth £30m, he must be good.
It was no secret that Man United were in desperate need for new defenders and so Bailly will give Mourinho more options in central defence along with Chris Smalling, Daley Blind and Phil Jones.
I am also pleased that at 22-years-old that it seems Mourinho might prefer a younger United team so the likes of Cameron Borthwick-Jackson and Marcus Rashford might have a part to play in the Special One’s plans.
I haven’t seen much of Bailly in action so time will well if this is a good deal or not. Anthony Martial was unknown when he made a big money switch from Monaco last summer and he made an instant impact. I hope Bailly does the same.