Struggling £30m Man Utd ace faces Mourinho axe in January, two replacement options touted

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As he continues to struggle to establish himself in Jose Mourinho’s plans this season, Man Utd defender Eric Bailly is reportedly a target for AC Milan in January.

The 24-year-old has made just seven appearances so far this season, often being left on the bench with the likes of Chris Smalling and Victor Lindelof getting the nod instead.

SEE MORE: Some Manchester United fans urge Mourinho not to start enigmatic star against Juventus

Injury woes also haven’t helped him since arriving at Old Trafford, and that in turn has led to a bit-part role this season despite United’s dire defensive record so far this year which has seen them concede 18 goals in just 11 league outings.

Now, according to ESPN, AC Milan are being linked with a move in January for the Ivorian international, who cost United £30m when they signed him from Villarreal in 2016. Further, it’s claimed that he’s concerned that Mourinho has lost faith in him and could axe him in order to raise funds to sign a replacement.

The Italian giants were rocked last week after it was confirmed that summer signing Mattia Caldara faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines due a calf injury, as noted by La Gazzetta dello Sport.

The 24-year-old is expected to form the heart of the backline alongside club captain Alessio Romagnoli moving forward, but Milan need a short-term solution and quality depth in order to compete on various fronts in the years ahead.

Currently, coach Gennaro Gattuso has Mateo Musacchio and Cristian Zapata at his disposal. While the former hasn’t entirely convinced defensively since he arrived at the San Siro last year, the latter turns 33 next year and so isn’t a viable long-term option.

That makes Bailly a sensible addition depending on how much he can be prised away from United for, and it could be argued that he might suit Italian football given his physicality, pace and reading of the game.

As for Man Utd, it’s added by ESPN that Inter ace Milan Skriniar and Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld are targets for Mourinho in January. And given the quality and experience that they possess, it could be argued that either would be an upgrade for the Red Devils and so selling Bailly could help create space in the squad and finances to launch a bid for one or the other.

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