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AC Milan shift focus at Manchester United defender after giving up Dejan Lovren signing

Bengaluru, July 18: AC Milan are reportedly considering a move for Manchester United defender Eric Bailly after being prized out by Liverpool's asking price for Dejan Lovren.

The Italian side have identified the backline as the foremost area to strengthen first and had the idea of roping in Stuttgart defender Ozan Kabak or Sampdoria centre-back Joachim Andersen.

However, after both the defenders decided a move to elsewhere - with Kabak opting for Schalke, while Andersen left for Lyon - Milan were forced to change their rumoured target.

With the forgotten Serie A giants pencilling for an experienced defender to shore up a woeful backline, they made an enquiry for Lovren. According to reports, the club even met with Predrag Mijatovic, an intermediary working for Lemic, Lovren's agent.

However, the high asking price from the Reds, reportedly, has now emerged as a stumbling block. Lovren still has a couple of years left on his deal as well as a one-year option which can be activated in 2021 and reportedly is valued around £18m.

But the Italian side believe spending such amount for a 30-year-old is not value for the money and instead, reportedly they have now set their sights on Manchester United defender Eric Bailly.

Bailly has failed to live up to the hype following his £34m move from Villarreal in 2016. He made just 18 appearances for the Red Devils last season - only five under Solskjaer.

Now with the defender about to enter the last year of his contract at the club and cashing in on him – particularly with a move for Harry Maguire still in the pipeline – seems like a logical thing to do.

This does give AC Milan a chance to capture him on the cheap, however, it still remains to be seen if the player too is looking for a move elsewhere or wishes to stay put to fight for his place.

The defender is regarded by many as a better prospect than the likes of Jones and Smalling and if he stays injury-free, surely there will be opportunities for him to play and to perhaps even earn the starting job alongside Lindelof, as United will compete for four trophies this season.
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Story first published: Thursday, July 18, 2019, 14:43 [IST]
Other articles published on Jul 18, 2019