A loan spell for a player over the age of 24 would usually signal that they aren’t going to force their way back into the team, but that’s not always the case.
Eric Bailly’s season was ruined by a nasty injury that he picked up at the start of the campaign, and it allowed Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof to cement themselves as the first choice pairing at the back.
He’s been able to play occasionally when they’ve played with three centre backs, but he needs to be playing to build up his confidence and fitness again.
A good team won’t rotate their centre backs unless they really have to, so a loan spell might be the best thing for the Ivorian.
The Sun have reported that Valencia are showing an interest in taking the centre back on loan next season, and United might be open to allowing it.
They also point out that Solskjaer is a big fan of Bailly and the club triggered a two year extension on his contact recently, so the prospect of a permanent deal sound slim.
There’s no sign of an option to buy being included at this point, which suggests United want to see him play for an entire season, before deciding what to do with him next summer.
There’s always a fear that he might leave and be forgotten about, but if he does well then there’s every chance he can come back and challenge for a first team place.
He’s only 26 so there’s plenty of time for him to improve and develop, so next season could be massive for him.