Manchester United blocked Arsenal’s move for defender Eric Bailly because they did not want to strengthen a rival, according to reports.
Reports during the summer transfer window claimed that the Gunners made an approach for the Man United man, but a move for the Ivory Coast international never materialised.
Talking on the Transfer window podcast back in June, journalist Duncas Castles spoke of the Gunners’ “longstanding interest” in the defender.
“I know that [Arsenal] have a longstanding interest in Eric Bailly and have approached him to find out if he’d be interested in moving to Arsenal.
“But the question mark in that deal has been: would they have the money to give Manchester United back what they paid to sign him three years ago?
“That essentially came down to whether they qualified for the Champions League or not, and when they didn’t, it doesn’t look like they’re gonna have the resources to get Bailly out.
“And Bailly himself has been told that Solskjaer doesn’t want to sell him.”
Now, according to the Evening Standard , Bailly was informed at the start of the transfer window that he would not be allowed to move to the Emirates Stadium due to Man United’s concerns over strengthening a rival for a top four position at the end of the season.
Arsenal made no secret of the fact that they wanted to add players in defensive areas over the summer, after a last minute scramble, former Chelsea defender David Luiz arrived on deadline day.
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Bailly is currently out of action with a knee injury, and isn’t expected to return to action until at least December, however, when he has been fit he has found game time hard to come by at Old Trafford, having made just 12 league appearances last season. The addition of Harry Maguire will make the challenge even more difficult for the 25-year-old upon his return from injury.