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Man Utd set to sign defender Eric Bailly for about £30m

Kickbola.netEric Bailly joins Manchester United from Villarreal on four-year deal subject to work permit. Manchester United and Villarreal CF have agreed a fee of around £25m plus add-ons for the 22-year-old Ivory Coast international who can play across the back four and, at 6ft 1in tall, has the physical prowess to prosper in the Premier League. Eric Bailly made his debut for the Ivory Coast in 2015
Eric Bailly passes medical at Man United - here is everything you need to know about Mourinho's first signing

Eric Bailly: Man Utd set to sign Villarreal defender for about £30m

Villarreal central defender Eric Bailly is set to be Jose Mourinho's first signing as Manchester United manager.

Bailly is due to have a medical this week and terms are thought to have been agreed with the 22-year-old, who will cost the Red Devils about £30m.

He has played 40 times in La Liga, the first five of which were for Espanyol.

Bailly joined Villarreal for £4.4m in January 2015 and played in every game as Ivory Coast won the Africa Cup of Nations just weeks later.

It had been thought Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be Mourinho's first signing since the Portuguese succeeded Louis van Gaal as United manager.

The Sweden striker, 34, is a free agent after leaving Paris St-Germain and hinted at the weekend he would make an announcement about his future on Tuesday.

But he has refused to elaborate, saying: "There is no confirmation. Keep wondering. I am enjoying the stories."

Bailly's reputation has soared this season, which saw him play a key role as Villarreal sealed Champions League qualification, and it's no surprise to see him make a big-money move this summer.

His prime asset is his extremely impressive physical presence, with his powerful aerial ability complimenting his pace and strength in the tackle.

The brave and determined 22-year-old has less than 50 league games under his belt, though, so United fans should perhaps not expect him to immediately become an automatic starter.

He can sometimes concede possession in dangerous areas by making bad decisions, and he doesn't always show composure under pressure, but Bailly possesses all the physical tools and the rest should come with more experience.

Eric Bailly passes medical at Man United - here is everything you need to know about Mourinho's first signing 

Eric Bailly has passed a medical and will become Jose Mourinho's first signing at Manchester United, according to reports.

It is understood a fee of £25m has been agreed with United to pay add ons depending on appearances.

Here is everything you need to know about the youngster.

The beginning

Eric Bertrand Bailly was born in Bingerville, Ivory Coast - the same place as Manchester City striker Wilfried Bony.

Big break

His talents were spotted by Espanyol's Emilio Montagut during a youth tournament organised by Spanish company Promoesport in Burkina Faso.

Slow start

Although he arrived at Cornella-El Prat in December 2011, and moved into Espanyol's youth system at the age of 17, it was 10 months before Bailly received his work permit. It was then another 10 months until he made his first-team debut in October 2014. That first taste of professional football, at the age of 20, was a La Liga match against Real Sociedad, which Espanyol won 2-0.

Rapid rise

Within four months of making his La Liga debut, he had secured a move to Villarreal and helped his country to the African Cup of Nations.

The switch was agreed while Bailly was midway through playing the Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament that Ivory Coast eventually won on a penalty shootout. The defender, the youngest player in Herve Renard's squad, having only made his international debut the previous month, kept his nerve to convert his spot kick.

Bargain buy

Bailly cost Villarreal just £4.4 million when he moved south from cash-strapped Espanyol. The 22-year-old was bought to replace the then Arsenal-bound Gabriel Paulista.

Suited for the Premier League

At 6ft 1in and with an imposing style, Bailly should meet the physical demands of the Premier League. He was part of a Villarreal defence that conceded just 35 goals in 38 games and played all the way across it, deputising in the full-back positions when necessary.

Discipline issues

Bailly's problems with on-field discipline would be a potential issue to monitor for any interested manager. He received 10 yellow cards and one red in La Liga last season, but if he can learn to control his temperament then he clearly has the tools to become a top player. Indeed, his positioning is solid - he averages 2.4 interceptions per game.

What they say

Terry Gibson - Sky Sports La Liga expert

"It is an interesting signing and due to his attributes I fully understand why Manchester United are interested in the player.

"Bailly is a fast, tall, athletic and strong central defender, who is particularly good when faced with one-on-one situations. When in possession he likes to run out from the back with the ball and has even looked comfortable in these situations when he has played as a right-back for Villarreal, venturing forward and not looking out of place in attacking play."

Manolo Marquez - Espanyol coach who gave Bailly his debut

"Eric was a very pleasant boy. He was very shy, but a great young professional. He lived in the residence with Espanyol's other young players and became a B team regular. We knew him as Eric Bertrand. Bailly was from his name from his mother's side and he chose to use that name later. We played one preseason game at Palamos and my daughter Carla had her photo taken with him. I told her keep the photo because he was going to be a famous player one day."

Man Utd set to sign defender Eric Bailly for about £30m Reviewed by Cyusrie on 5:46 PM Rating: 5

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