According to the Guardian, Arsenal and Tottenham are in a transfer battle to land Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly in the January transfer window.
Both clubs are looking to strengthen at the heart of their defences, for different reasons. It seems that Bailly has become a prime target for the north London pair.
Endured mixed fortunes at United
When Bailly arrived at United in 2016 from Villarreal for a fee of around £30million, the Ivory Coast international was seen as the answer to the Red Devils central defensive problems.
He had produced some impressive displays for the Yellow Submarine, who had one of the best defences in La Liga at the time. His early performances for the Red Devils suggested that he could be a shrewd signing by the men from Manchester.
However, since those early days at United, Bailly has endured mixed fortunes. He has suffered through injury and from United boss Jose Mourinho rotation at the heart of the defence.
Undoubtedly, Bailly worse moment was last time out against Newcastle, as the centre-back was substituted after just 19 minutes. The Red Devils were two goals down at that point, so it was a case of Mourinho reacting to the deficit. It was a humiliating moment for Bailly, whose future at the club is now in doubt.
Still question marks over the Arsenal defence
While the Gunners have been firing in attack this season, there are still question marks over their defensive displays. During their recent nine-game winning run in all competitions, Unai Emery’s side has kept three clean sheets.
They were fortunate not to concede in some of the games that they kept clean sheets in this season. Sokratis has turned into a decent signing, but I have a feeling that those question marks will not go away until the Gunners sign a quality centre-back.
Can signing Bailly help Arsenal’s top-four chances?
Arsenal’s primary aim this season is a return to the Premier League’s top-four, which the Gunners are odds of 6/4 to achieve.
Whether signing Bailly would help the Gunners achieve that aim this season would depend on which Bailly they sign. If it is the Bailly who looked so commanding in his early displays for United, then he could be a good signing.
However, if it is the Bailly who has looked completely bereft of confidence in recent months, then the Gunners may be better looking elsewhere for defensive reinforcements.
Would Eric Bailly be a good signing the January transfer window for Arsenal?