Manchester United figures are reportedly angry at Ed Woodward for giving Eric Bailly a new contract last summer. The Red Devils are set to embark on a big rebuilding job when Erik ten Hag takes charge at the end of the contract. And the future of the Ivory Coast international is just one matter the Dutchman will have to deal with.
Ten Hag has verbally agreed to take charge at United and become their fifth manager since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, following David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to Old Trafford. He’ll have to embark on a big rebuild of the squad come the end of the summer, particularly given their dire campaign so far. And the Manchester Evening News say figures at United are unhappy at Woodward’s decision to give Bailly a new deal 12 months ago. The Ivory Coast international has been at the club ever since touching down from Villarreal in 2016, when Mourinho ruled the roost.
But injuries have prevented him from becoming the player the Red Devils thought he would be. Still, United decided to give Bailly a new contract last summer after he’d won round Solskjaer towards the end of the campaign.
But it appears figures are now ruing Woodward’s decision to approve that new deal, with Bailly enduring a troublesome campaign. The 28-year-old has made just four appearances in the Premier League this term, compared to 12 last season. And he’s also only played three times in other tournaments, too, with Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane and Victor Lindelof all above him in the pecking order. Woodward made many calamitous decisions throughout his time at United.
He left his post back in February, having previously revealed he’d quit in the wake of the European Super League scandal. And Bailly isn’t the only player Ten Hag could sell when he leaves Ajax to take over at the Theatre of Dreams this summer. Paul Pogba is likely to leave on a free transfer amid links to Real Madrid, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Barcelona. Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani will join him out the door, with the duo both unwilling to stay at Old Trafford.
Anthony Martial has failed to kick on at Sevilla and it’s hard to see a way back for the France international, who was once seen as a future Ballon d’Or winner.
Marcus Rashford’s future is up in the air, having struggled for form under both Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick this term. And question marks continue to hover over Cristiano Ronaldo, despite the veteran netting 18 goals across all competitions. Meanwhile, former Rangers and Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish has opened up on Ten Hag and what he must do in order to succeed. “He has to find a formula that suits those players,” he said.
“He’s going to want to bring in and stamp his personality on that team. “It’s not as if I can second guess what he has to do. He just has to get a Man United team who win every week. He won’t want to do that without putting his imprint on it. “He’s got a lot of work to do. I think there will be a massive rebuild. The problem is there has to be an instant massive rebuild. “When you’ve got good players, you’ve got a chance.
"The players they have, yes, I’m sure some of them will make the cut, but not all of them are at the level they should be.”