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Tottenham transfer news: Antonio Conte plans shock move for Manchester United outcast Eric Bailly

Tottenham, Manchester United
(Image credit: PA Images)

Tottenham manager Antonio Conte is interested in signing out-of-favour Manchester United defender Eric Bailly in January, according to reports.  

The Ivory Coast international has rarely featured for the Red Devils this season, making three appearances in all competitions.   

But Conte is a fan of the 27-year-old and could convince Spurs to make an offer in the winter window, according to journalist Duncan Castles.  

"One of the things Conte is asking for in January is two starting centre-backs," Castles told the Transfer Window podcast.

He added: "One of the individuals they're in discussions about, although as I understand it no offer has been made at this point, is a Manchester United player, Eric Bailly,” 

"He's someone who Conte likes and was looking at as a possible recruit at Inter.” 

Bailly was brought back into the United side for their 2-2 Champions League draw away to Atalanta earlier this month, before being replaced at half time after scoring an own goal in a 2-0 defeat to Man City four days later.  

He hasn’t featured since, and his only other outing this season was in a 1-0 League Cup defeat to West Ham in September. 

Bailly has a contract until June 2024 at Old Trafford, but his future could depend on who replaces Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as manager.

Since missing the first half of the 2019/20 season through injury, the centre-back has made just 17 Premier League appearances. 

Solskjaer was clearly not a fan, but the Norwegian was sacked last week and his successor is yet to be named. 

The Red Devils are keen to bring in PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino, but were reportedly knocked back with their first approach, while they have drawn up a five-man list of interim manager options. 

Bailly’s future, and Conte’s hopes of bringing him to Spurs, could therefore depend on who takes the Old Trafford job – and how highly they rate the Ivorian. 

According to the Transfermarkt portal, the defender’s value has plummeted from €35 million (£30m) to €10m (£8m) since May 2018.

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