Eric Bailly has criticised Manchester United for what he perceives to be a bias towards English players following his departure for Marseille.

Bailly was very highly rated when he became Jose Mourinho's first signing at the club in 2016, but he left late last month on a loan deal that could become permanent having only once accumulated more than 21 appearances in a full season.

Injuries undoubtedly played their part in Bailly's struggles, but he was also prone to moments of rashness and the occasional loss of concentration, which did not help his cause.

Seemingly, however, Bailly thinks there were other factors at play as well, claiming there to be a bias towards English players at the club, with his comments interpreted by many as clear criticism of the much-maligned – and now out-of-favour – captain Harry Maguire.

"The club should avoid favouring English players and give everyone a chance," he told the Times.

"[The club should] encourage competition in the dressing room, not just look out for some. I've always had the feeling that the [English] national player was prioritised.

"That doesn't happen at Chelsea or other big Premier League clubs. Some people take it for granted that they are going to start, and that weakens the team.

"Luckily [Erik] ten Hag has a lot of character and I hope he can change that dynamic."

The data certainly suggests United looked to English players more than their rivals over the past six seasons, the period Bailly is referring to.

While Liverpool (33), Tottenham (30) and Arsenal (27) have both seen more English players represent them for at least one minute across all competitions over the period in question than United (26), the Red Devils have given greater prominence to more homegrown players.

Between August 2016 and the end of last season, they had nine English players feature for at least 5,000 minutes across all competitions – none of the other so-called 'big six' have more than six English players that meet the same criteria.

Ten Hag's decision to drop Maguire and Luke Shaw suggests United do now have a manager who is willing to shake things up again, but still Bailly wanted out.

"I played important games and in some I was chosen as the best player. I think when I was given the opportunity I rose to the occasion, I just lacked consistency, because I think I deserved more minutes," he continued. "I've had good times and won titles.

"I met Ten Hag in the dressing room at the end of last season when he went to sign his contract.

"I was packing my things because my intention was to leave, but he told me he wanted me to stay because he was going to give minutes to everyone.

"I agreed to do the [pre-season] tour with United, and he kept his word, but I don't want to play every now and then. I want to do it every week and feel important. I want to get my confidence back."

Manchester United have confirmed the departure of defender Eric Bailly, who has joined Marseille on a season-long loan with the potential for a permanent transfer.

The Ivory Coast centre-back has swapped the Premier League for Ligue 1 on a deal that will initially run to the end of the 2022-23 season.

But Marseille will have the option to buy the 28-year-old before the campaign concludes, with the fee reportedly set at €10million (£8.5m).

Bailly arrived at Old Trafford from Villarreal in 2016 and was a member of United's EFL Cup and Europa League-winning squad under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

However, various injury struggles, as well as the arrivals of Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane, have seen him restricted to just 57 appearances since the start of the 2018-19 campaign.

United's recent acquisition of Lisandro Martinez from Ajax pushed Bailly further down the pecking order under new boss Erik ten Hag, and the defender has now become the latest player to depart under the Dutchman's watch.

His exit comes in the wake of United's first win of the season, after the Red Devils ended a dire run of form to defeat Liverpool 2-1 on Monday.

Goals from Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford steered the hosts to victory, while Martinez partnered Varane in a new-look backline as captain Maguire joined Cristiano Ronaldo in being dropped to the bench.

Chelsea lost 3-0 to Leeds United on Sunday and it would appear that defeat has sparked the Blues into action.

New owner Todd Boehly has been keen to make his mark since arriving at Stamford Bridge, bringing in Raheem Sterling, Kalidou Koulibaly and Marc Cucurella among others.

But head coach Thomas Tuchel wants more. Leicester City defender Wesley Fofana is a priority target for the defence, while last week Chelsea had two bids rejected by Everton for Anthony Gordon.

Now it would appear the Blues are confident of completing the signing, while they are also reportedly in talks to land a second attacker.

TOP STORY - CHELSEA IN FOR GORDON AND LEAO

The Times reports that Chelsea will this week push ahead and match Everton's £50million asking price for winger Gordon, who scored four goals in a breakthrough Premier League season last term.

Everton boss Frank Lampard stressed the importance of Gordon to his plans, and played the 21-year-old against Nottingham Forest on Saturday, but also suggested that a decision might have to be made if a bid was too good to turn down.

Gordon might also be joined in moving to Stamford Bridge by Milan star Rafael Leao. The Portugal international scored 11 times for the Rossoneri as they won Serie A last season, and the same report claims that Chelsea are in talks with the Italian champions over a move for the 23-year-old.

ROUND-UP

- Several outlets are reporting that West Ham have struck a deal with Chelsea to sign left-back Emerson Palmieri for around £13million.

- Eric Bailly is close to joining Marseille on loan from Manchester United, according to Fabrizio Romano.

- The Telegraph claims Newcastle United have been told they must pay £30million to buy striker Joao Pedro from Watford.

- Villarreal coach Unai Emery told El Larguero that Edinson Cavani could join the club, while he also said that Juan Foyth is of interest to Barcelona.

- Everton were hoping to have Idrissa Gueye and Mohammed Kudus signed but have bumped into difficulties with Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax respectively, says The Times.

- Fabrizio Romano also reports that Fulham and Roma will hold further talks this week over Justin Kluivert.

- Barca defender Samuel Umtiti will join Lecce, says Gianluca Di Marzio.

Chelsea are in the market to bolster their defence following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel's side have already added Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35million.

The Blues are eager to add another centre-back to their ranks before the closure of the transfer window.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO MAKE WORLD-RECORD BID FOR FOFANA

Chelsea are preparing to make a world-record offer for Leicester City's French defender Wesley Fofana, reports Football London.

The Blues' bid would be the highest fee paid for a defender, having had a previous offer declined by the Foxes.

It is believed Chelsea's previous bid was £70m with Leicester insisting he is not for sale. Harry Maguire, sold by Leicester to Manchester United, holds the record for a defender at £80m.


ROUND-UP

– Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, having reached an agreement with the Italian club for an initial £15m fee, according to The Guardian. France international Rabiot is in the final year of his contract with Juventus.

– 90min reports that United target Benjamin Sesko is close to agreeing to a deal with German club RB Leipzig. The report claims that 19-year-old Slovenian forward Sesko will move from Salzburg to Leipzig in 2023.

– United have also reached out to Real Betis on Guido Rodriguez's status according to AS, while the Red Devils are still considering Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports The Telegraph.

– Tottenham have reached an agreement with Udinese for winger Destiny Udogie for more than €20m, claims Fabrizio Romano. Udogie, however, will still on loan at Udinese this season.

– Monaco are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan, claims L'Equipe. The Ligue 1 club want the Ivorian, who is under contract until 2024, with an option to buy.

– Fiorentina will rival Villarreal for the signature of Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The Argentina international spent time on loan with Villarreal last season.

Valencia will revive its interest in Tottenham's Bryan Gil following Goncalo Guades' move to Wolves, claims Diario AS.

– The Telegraph claims Milan have re-opened talks with Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech who has been transfer listed.

Chelsea are in the market to bolster their defence following the exits of Antonio Rudiger and Andreas Christensen.

Thomas Tuchel's side have already added Kalidou Koulibaly from Napoli for £35million.

The Blues are eager to add another centre-back to their ranks before the closure of the transfer window.

TOP STORY – BLUES TO MAKE WORLD-RECORD BID FOR FOFANA

Chelsea are preparing to make a world-record offer for Leicester City's French defender Wesley Fofana, reports Football London.

The Blues' bid would be the highest fee paid for a defender, having had a previous offer declined by the Foxes.

It is believed Chelsea's previous bid was £70m with Leicester insisting he is not for sale. Harry Maguire, sold by Leicester to Manchester United, holds the record for a defender at £80m.


ROUND-UP

– Manchester United are closing in on a deal for Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot, having reached an agreement with the Italian club for an initial £15m fee, according to The Guardian. France international Rabiot is in the final year of his contract with Juventus.

– 90min reports that United target Benjamin Sesko is close to agreeing to a deal with German club RB Leipzig. The report claims that 19-year-old Slovenian forward Sesko will move from Salzburg to Leipzig in 2023.

– United have also reached out to Real Betis on Guido Rodriguez's status according to AS, while the Red Devils are still considering Lazio's Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, reports The Telegraph.

– Tottenham have reached an agreement with Udinese for winger Destiny Udogie for more than €20m, claims Fabrizio Romano. Udogie, however, will still on loan at Udinese this season.

– Monaco are keen on signing Manchester United defender Eric Bailly on loan, claims L'Equipe. The Ligue 1 club want the Ivorian, who is under contract until 2024, with an option to buy.

– Fiorentina will rival Villarreal for the signature of Tottenham's Giovani Lo Celso, according to Gianluca Di Marzio. The Argentina international spent time on loan with Villarreal last season.

Valencia will revive its interest in Tottenham's Bryan Gil following Goncalo Guades' move to Wolves, claims Diario AS.

– The Telegraph claims Milan have re-opened talks with Chelsea's Moroccan winger Hakim Ziyech who has been transfer listed.

The tense Frenkie de Jong transfer saga continues with uncertainty on his Barcelona future.

The 25-year-old Dutchman has two years to run on his Barcelona contract, having postponed part of his deal during the initial stages of the COVID-19 pandemic.

De Jong is unwilling to accept another pay cut to remain at Camp Nou, though, amid the club's hefty off-season transfer spending.

 

TOP STORY – DE JONG DECISION OVER ENGLISH SUITORS

Decisions will be made on Frenkie de Jong's future at Barcelona after their United States tour, with interest from Chelsea alongside Manchester United, reports Sport.

De Jong is reluctant to leave Camp Nou, particularly for a move to Old Trafford, despite ending last season out of favour.

However, the Dutchman is more open to Chelsea's advances, but the Blues are unwilling to pay as much as United, leaving the Blaugrana in a bind.

 

ROUND-UP

– Leicester City have placed a £70million asking price on Wesley Fofana, who is being courted by Chelsea, reports CBS Sports.

Newcastle United are considering a move for Chelsea's Germany international forward Timo Werner, claims Bild. Juventus are also interested in Werner according to Sky Sports.

– Fabrizio Romano reports that ex-Chelsea midfielder Oscar is pushing for a move from Shanghai SIPG to Flamengo, with talks ongoing.

– L'Equipe believes that Danish goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel has agreed to a deal with Ligue 1 club Nice, although Leicester City are yet to approve the move.

– Arsenal and Fulham are in talks over an £8m deal for goalkeeper Bernd Leno, claims Sky Sports.

Roma head coach Jose Mourinho is trying to woo Manchester United defender Eric Bailly to the Italian capital, reports The Daily Mail.

Manchester United are preparing for a complete overhaul of the playing group in the upcoming transfer window as incoming manager Erik ten Hag begins to build things his way.

Ten Hag, who is arriving from Ajax, has reportedly already seen enough of a number of regular contributors at United, and they will make way for players he believes can get the club back to their former glory.

Forward, midfielders and defenders are all on the chopping block, with very few positions expected to be safe heading into 2022-23.

 

TOP STORY – TEN HAG TO SWING THE AXE AT UNITED

The Sun is reporting United "could sell" Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Alex Telles at the next opportunity.

Meanwhile, Sky Sports claims United's needs include a new centre-back, two central midfielders, a winger and a striker in what could shape up as a complete rebuild.

One player who will reportedly get a chance to prove his worth at Old Trafford once he returns from loan is Donny van de Beek, who played for Ten Hag at Ajax.

West Ham's Declan Rice is also high on the Dutchman's wishlist, per The Guardian, while the Telegraph claims Benfica striker Darwin Nunez is a key target.

 

ROUND-UP

– Sky Sports Germany is reporting RB Leipzig have no interest in parting ways with Christopher Nkunku next season, despite interest from United and Arsenal.

– According to Goal, Milan are keen to sign Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku, who spent two seasons at Inter before rejoining Chelsea this season.

Real Madrid are monitoring Newcastle United midfielder Bruno Guimaraes, per AS.

Manchester City and Newcastle United are both interested in 18-year-old Rangers academy midfielder Alex Lowry, according to Football Insider.

– Todofichajes reports that Christian Eriksen has agreed to return to Tottenham when his contract with Brentford expires at the end of this season.

Eric Bailly missed from the spot as Egypt progressed to the quarter-finals of the Africa Cup of Nations by knocking out Ivory Coast on penalties.

The most frequently contested match in the tournament's history – this was the 11th time these sides have met – was decided when Mohamed Salah swept home to secure a 5-4 win in the shoot-out after 120 goalless minutes in Douala.

In a tight first 90 minutes of few chances, arguably the best fell to Amr El Soleya, who blasted over after being teed up in space by Salah.

Egypt goalkeeper Mohamed El Shenawy tipped over a Sebastien Haller header before keeping out a Wilfried Zaha effort, but he was replaced with two minutes of normal time left due to injury.

A bright start from Egypt to extra time saw El Soleya presented with another chance, the Al Ahly midfielder unable to keep his awkward header down from six yards out.

A speculative Ibrahim Sangare strike was well saved by Mohamed Abou Gabal, and Simon Deli got in front of the replacement goalkeeper from the resulting corner only to head over.

Salah's cut-back set up Trezeguet with practically the final kick of extra time, but the Aston Villa man shot straight at Badra Ali Sangare from six yards.

The opening four penalties of the shoot-out were scored before 'Gabaski' clawed Bailly's effort onto the crossbar, the Manchester United defender's run-up not fooling the keeper.

Zaha swept home to put the pressure on Salah, who found the bottom-right corner to set up a last-eight meeting with Morocco.

Premier League managers are already feeling the strain amid cascading numbers of COVID-19 cases and mid-season injuries. Now many top bosses stand to lose stars to the Africa Cup of Nations.

Africa's greatest football show – now commonly known as AFCON – gets under way on Sunday in Cameroon.

Although the 2019 edition was held in June and July, it has historically been a January-into-February tournament and has returned to that place on the calendar.

A host of Premier League big names are hoping to make an impact during the four-week tournament, which falls slap-bang in the middle of European club campaigns, causing a major clash of competitions.

Premier League clubs certainly cannot complain of a lack of fair warning. It was June 2020 when African football chiefs decided the 2021 edition of the tournament would have to be pushed back by 12 months to a January 2022 start, in the hope the coronavirus crisis would have eased.

Here, Stats Perform takes a look at which teams from the English top flight might feel its impact the most.

Can Reds cling on in title battle?

If Liverpool lose no further ground on leaders Manchester City by the time their stars return from AFCON, then Jurgen Klopp would surely settle for that.

The 2019-20 Premier League champions have taken two points from a possible nine to leave the title as effectively City's to lose, and now Klopp is going to have to get by without Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Naby Keita.

Egyptian striker Salah is the Premier League's leader in goals (16) and assists (9, level with Trent Alexander Arnold) so far this season. He has taken 80 shots in 20 games (38 of these have hit the target), played 12 throughballs and created 40 chances from open play: in each of those categories he is at the top of the Premier League charts for players defined by Opta as forwards.

How do you cope without such a contribution? Having Mane on hand would help, but Mane will be turning out for Senegal, a team who, like Salah's Egypt, are firmly in the mix as serious trophy contenders. Don't expect either back at the end of the group stage.

Mane has eight Premier League goals this term, including the opener at Chelsea recently. That goal return puts Mane joint-second among African scorers in the Premier League this season, level with Watford's Emmanuel Dennis, who is not in Nigeria's squad.

Mane has played 19 throughballs and has made 23 tackles to boot, which is the seventh highest number of tackles by a forward in the league this season, a rarely mentioned attribute of his game. He does not always tackle with his elbow, either.

Keita will presumably be less of a miss, with the Guinean's Anfield contribution remaining underwhelming, but Liverpool have been so hard hit by absentees recently that to lose anybody for up to five weeks is an inconvenience.

They are at least assured of Joel Matip's presence this month. The centre-back last played for Cameroon in 2015 and has retired from international duty. That is bad news for the AFCON hosts but helps Liverpool, given Matip remains a sturdy presence, with a duel success of 69.47 per cent this season ranking him third among Premier League defenders with 10 or more appearances, and a passing accuracy of 88.89 per cent putting him eighth in that metric.

Liverpool only have two league games inked in between now and the end of AFCON, against Brentford and Crystal Palace, but the Reds also have two postponed fixtures to be slipped in somewhere along the line.

Wintertime Blues?

Pep Guardiola's Manchester City hold a 10-point lead over second-placed Chelsea, with Liverpool a point further back but possessing a game in hand on the top two. Reigning champions City have won 11 straight Premier League games and the Citizens have the resources to be able to cope with the short-term loss of Riyad Mahrez, who will captain Algeria.

Mahrez's six goals and four assists this season have come at a startling rate. Given the depth in City's squad, he does not always start, so to appreciate his contribution it is worth looking at his numbers per 90 minutes on the pitch.

The former Leicester City forward is averaging 0.64 goals and 0.43 assists per 90 minutes – impressively close to Salah's return of 0.81 and 0.45 in those categories – and is one of only four Premier League players with 10 or more appearances to average at least 1.00 goal involvements per 90 (Michael Olise 1.43, Salah 1.26, Roberto Firmino 1.24, Mahrez 1.07).

The Blues of Chelsea may have concerns over the absence of goalkeeper Edouard Mendy, given the Senegalese's stabilising influence at the back. His save percentage of 77.14 has only been beaten this season in the league by Wolves' Jose Sa (80.82) and Arsenal's Aaron Ramsdale (77.46).

Spaniard Kepa Arrizabalaga struggled in the early stages of his Chelsea career and is now the undoubted understudy.

Yet Kepa's form when given an opportunity this season has not given such cause for concern. The former Athletic Bilbao goalkeeper has been chiefly used in cup action, and he has achieved a remarkable save percentage of 81.48, suggesting that for a short run of games, he could be a perfectly able deputy.

Can an exodus to Africa affect the race for Europe?

Will fourth-placed Arsenal miss Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang? It seems unlikely now, given he was dropped and stripped of the captaincy after a disciplinary breach before heading off to join Gabon. He has not played for a month. The Gunners won five games in a row without him, including four in the league, before being unlucky to lose to Manchester City.

Cold facts tell us Arsenal have a points average of 1.9 per Premier League game when Aubameyang has started games this season, and 1.5 when he has been either a substitute or out of the team, but those figures may not be significant given the momentum Mikel Arteta's players have built in the recent absence of the 32-year-old. His continuing exile from the first team seems unlikely to cause much consternation.

For manager Arteta to lose Thomas Partey (Ghana) at this point is a blow though, with the former Atletico Madrid player having been excellent in the 2-1 defeat to City, having been slowly building up to such a performance. He had more touches, won more duels, made more tackles and played more successful passes than any other Arsenal player.

Arsenal have a big derby at Tottenham coming up on January 16, and they might feel Partey's absence that day, particularly given Spurs, who currently sit sixth, are sending no current first-teamers away to AFCON.

Splitting the north London rivals for now are West Ham, in fifth, and it will surely have hurt David Moyes to wave off Said Benrahma for a month of Algeria duty. The playmaker has five goals and four assists in the league this season, as well as making 83 ball recoveries and creating 21 chances in open play. That makes him one of only 13 players in the competition to top both 80 recoveries and 20 open-play chances created, and one of only five Premier League stars to tick both boxes and score at least five times. Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, away with Ivory Coast, is another member of that small group.

Seventh-placed Manchester United will lose Eric Bailly to Ivory Coast too. But with Phil Jones back in the first team, will Bailly be missed? The former Villarreal centre-back has played just 217 minutes in the Premier League this season. United youth prospect Hannibal Mejbri is also away, in his case with Tunisia.

Further into mid-table, Wolves must find an alternative to the excellent Romain Saiss (tackle success rate 72.73 per cent) on the left side of their defence, after he joined up with Morocco. Brighton and Hove Albion powerhouse Yves Bissouma has the highest tackle success rate among midfielders to have made more than 40 such challenges in the Premier League this season (50 attempted, 35 won: 70 per cent hit rate) and he will line up for Mali after ending an international exile.

Leicester City sent away striker Kelechi Iheanacho (2 goals, 4 assists this season) for Nigeria service at a bad time for the Foxes, given injured Jamie Vardy faces several weeks out of action.

Palace are firmly in favour of players heading away to represent their countries, but the Eagles never particularly like to be without Zaha (5 goals, 1 assist, 86 dribbles). Since his return from Manchester United in August 2014, Palace have averaged 1.2 points and a 32.9 per cent win percentage with Zaha in their starting line-up, and 0.9 points and a 24.5 win percentage when he has not been in that matchday XI. The loss of Cheikhou Kouyate (80.56 per cent success rate from 36 tackles) to Senegal duty may also diminish the sturdiness of Patrick Vieira's Eagles spine.

Can Clarets cope without Cornet?

The relegation scrap seems more likely to be affected by transfer market activity than departures to AFCON.

Newcastle United and Norwich City, the league's bottom two, are sending nobody away, while fourth-bottom Watford have kept Dennis (8 goals, 5 assists) and it remains to be seen what happens to Ismaila Sarr (5 goals), who has been absent with injury of late but has headed for checks with Senegal doctors.

Burnley, who sit 18th, are seemingly the team to watch carefully here. Maxwel Cornet, now away with Ivory Coast, has scored six Premier League goals from just 10 shots on target, and Sean Dyche must find a way to make the Clarets impactful without the former Lyon man.

Serial trophy winner Medhi Benatia announced his retirement on Thursday as Juventus and Bayern Munich stars past and present hailed the powerhouse defender.

The 34-year-old former Morocco captain played a part in five consecutive league championship wins, firstly when landing two Bundesliga titles at Bayern in the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.

He joined Juventus from the German giants and featured in each of the next three campaigns as the Turin giants mopped up successive Scudetto triumphs, also leading his country at the 2018 World Cup.

Benatia was born in France and began his career in the Marseille youth set-up. He shot to prominence after a move from Clermont to Udinese in 2010, which paved the way for a switch to Roma in 2013, and one year later he was prised away by Bayern amid a scramble by elite clubs for his services.

After a double-winning second season, Benatia moved on to Juventus in 2016, before leaving the Bianconeri to sign for Qatari outfit Al-Duhail midway through the 2018-19 season.

While at Juventus, he was part of the squad that reached the 2016-17 Champions League final and also won the Coppa Italia twice. Most recently he has been with Turkish Super Lig side Fatih Karagumruk, who said Benatia had retired because of injury.

Responding to Benatia's announcement, which he revealed on Instagram, Juventus striker Paulo Dybala sent a heart emoji to his former team-mate. Ex-Bayern winger Franck Ribery did likewise, with current Juve full-back Juan Cuadrado and former favourite Sami Khedira also among those that sent greetings.

Blaise Matuidi, the former Juventus and France midfield general, wrote: "What a career, my brother. I remember those days at [French national football centre] Clairefontaine where we began to dream of being a professional footballer, but by dint of work you did much more than that. Incredible clubs, captain of a nation and having won a good number of titles, you can only be proud brother."

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly joined in the praise, writing: "Bravo capitano. Great man, great career, very good player and finally an example."

Paris Saint-Germain full-back Achraf Hakimi praised his former national team skipper, with the message: "Capitanooo. Good luck in your new stage big bro."

Announcing his decision to retire, Benatia said: "From a young age I had only one dream, to become a professional footballer. To get there, I had to force myself to work hard, make sacrifices, but above all set new goals at each stage of my career.

"This job has also allowed me to defend and represent my country, Morocco, with whom I have experienced unforgettable moments... in particular the 2018 World Cup."

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly said the players have been told about the arrival of a new manager amid mounting speculation regarding Ralf Rangnick.

United are reportedly set to appoint former RB Leipzig boss Rangnick on an interim basis until the end of the season.

Rangnick, currently working as head of sports and development at Russian side Lokomotiv Moscow, is the man United are targeting to lead them through until the end of the season, which is when they intend to make a more permanent appointment – Paris Saint-Germain head coach Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax's Erik ten Hag have been heavily linked.

Michael Carrick continued in his caretaker role for Sunday's 1-1 draw at Premier League leaders Chelsea, though Bailly lifted the lid on matters at Old Trafford.

"We were told in the dressing room that a new manager was coming," Bailly told RMC Sport.

"We are working hard for now with Carrick and then we will see."

Jadon Sancho's opener against the run of play was cancelled out by Jorginho's penalty at Stamford Bridge, where Carrick named Red Devils superstar Cristiano Ronaldo among the substitutes.

During the month of November so far, United (17) have mustered the fewest number of shots of all Premier League sides, whilst also facing more attempts than any team (60).

United managed just one further attempt after taking the lead at Chelsea, with their total of three shots their lowest in a Premier League game since April 2017 against Manchester City (also 3).

Meanwhile, Carrick became the first Englishman to take charge of United in a league game since Ron Atkinson in back November 1986 (1-1 against Coventry).

Manchester City inflicted another humbling home defeat on bitter rivals Manchester United with a routine 2-0 derby victory in Saturday's Premier League clash.

Pep Guardiola's side had failed to win any of their previous four league meetings with United but were deservedly two goals ahead at half-time.

Eric Bailly became the first United player to score an own goal against City in the Premier League and Bernardo Silva profited from some terrible defending to squeeze in a second shortly before the interval.

United, beaten 5-0 by Liverpool in their most recent match at Old Trafford, failed to offer any sort of response in the second half as the pressure continues to grow on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United had kept three successive clean sheets against City in the league but were behind inside seven minutes when Bailly sliced Joao Cancelo's whipped cross from the left into his own net.

Cristiano Ronaldo had a powerful volley kept out by Ederson – United's only on-target attempt of the first half – but only David de Gea kept the scoreline down as City took complete control.

However, after keeping out Gabriel Jesus, Kevin De Bruyne and team-mate Victor Lindelof, De Gea was far too easily beaten by Silva, who ghosted in behind Luke Shaw and turned in Cancelo's cross from a tight angle.

Chances were hard to come by in a far quieter second period, with the visitors going closest to finding the net through a Phil Foden strike that grazed the outside of the post late on.

What does it mean? United lose again at Old Trafford

City may not have managed the five goals Liverpool scored here two weeks ago, but the manner of the victory was just as straightforward and was never in doubt from the moment they scored their second goal.

United have now lost eight matches at Old Trafford in all competitions this calendar year, which is their worst-such record since 1989, and could find themselves 11 points off top spot should Chelsea beat Burnley later on Saturday.

Guardiola's men looked far more like their usual selves on the back of last week's shock 2-0 loss at home to Crystal Palace, meanwhile, as they moved back to within two points of leaders Chelsea, who have that game in hand.

Cancelo runs the show

The attacking left-back played in the cross for Bailly's own goal and sent in a delightful delivery, albeit one that should have been dealt with, for Silva's strike – the Portugal international's third goal in his last four appearances at Old Trafford.

Cancelo had more touches (125) than any player on the field – Lindelof was United's most involved player with 67 – while nobody managed more shots (four) and tackles (four) in what was an impressive all-round display.

United's calamitous defending

From Bailly turning an easy-to-deal-with cross into his own net – one that should never have been allowed to enter the box in the first place – to De Gea and Shaw watching on as Silva turned in a second, United's defending was yet again shambolic.

The Red Devils have now conceded at least once in each of their last 14 home games in all competitions, their longest run without a clean sheet at Old Trafford since a club-record run of 21 between April 1958 and March 1959.

What's next?

United travel to Watford on their return to Premier League action after the international break. City host Everton at the Etihad Stadium on November 21.

Sevilla defender Jules Kounde admitted he could leave the LaLiga side in the off-season amid links with Manchester United.

Kounde has emerged as one of the most sought-after centre-backs in the transfer market after countryman Dayot Upamecano joined Bayern Munich and Ibrahima Konate agreed to swap RB Leipzig for Liverpool.

United have long been linked with a move for Kounde, who helped Sevilla to a fourth-placed finish in LaLiga this term, as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's Premier League giants reportedly eye a new partner for Harry Maguire.

The 22-year-old France international – also a reported target for the likes of Real Madrid, Chelsea and Arsenal – said he wants to win trophies.

"Regarding my future, I may change this summer," Kounde told reporters as France prepare for Wednesday's international friendly against Wales, ahead of the upcoming Euro 2020.

"Nothing is for sure yet, I did not take a final decision.

"Obviously, my goal is to play one day in one of the greatest clubs to keep improving and to win trophies.

"Starting every year the season knowing that the goal is to win this or this trophy. I may move but for now, it is not the case."

United already boast captain Maguire – the most expensive defender in history – Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in defence, while Axel Tuanzebe has struggled for regular game time.

When comparing Kounde to Maguire, Lindelof and Bailly across domestic league action in 2020-21, the former ranks first in passing accuracy (90.11 per cent) and clean sheets (15).

Kounde is only second to Maguire in tackles (27 to 29), tackle success (55.6 to 58.6 per cent), interceptions (40 to 60), clearances (100 to 122), recoveries (100 to 122), duel success (60.7 to 65.7 per cent) and aerials won (102 to 135).

Eric Bailly has warned Manchester United he will only remain at Old Trafford as long as he is a first-team regular, despite last month signing a contract extension.

The centre-back's new deal keeps him at United until 2024, when his previous contract had been set to expire at the end of next season.

But Bailly suggests that agreement will count for little if he remains on the fringes of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's team.

The ex-Villarreal defender, who hopes to face his former club in Wednesday's Europa League final, has featured in only 20 (33.3 per cent) of United's 60 games in all competitions so far this season, ranking 19th in the Red Devils squad.

And that mark is roughly par for Bailly's United career, having appeared in only 105 (35.7 per cent) and started just 92 (31.3 per cent) of the 294 matches the club have played since his 2016 signings.

Injuries have played their part, with knee and groin issues keeping the player out for extended periods over the past five years, but he has been an unused substitute 18 times this term alone.

This season's 1,590 minutes are Bailly's most since his debut campaign in England (3,230) but still trail Harry Maguire (4,653) and Victor Lindelof (3,908) by some distance.

"Competition is always good to improve," Bailly told The Times. "I just say that I want to stay in case I get the chance to play.

"I don't want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five.

"If that happens, I will have to look for another solution. The new contract is fine but if I don't play I will be open to listen to other proposals."

Only 39 of Bailly's United outings have come since Solskjaer was appointed in December 2018, in which time the 20-time English champions have played 150 times.

But the defender, who has therefore featured in just 26.0 per cent of the manager's games, was encouraged by discussions prior to signing the contract extension.

"I spoke to him and he told me he wanted me to stay," Bailly added.

"The most important thing was not the renewal but the conversation we had: we sat down, we talked and he told me what he wanted from me and that he wanted me to continue."

Manchester United ended the Premier League season without losing an away match as they beat Wolves 2-1 at Molineux on the final day.

With one eye on next week's Europa League final and with second place in the table secure, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rested the majority of his key players against a Wolves side playing under coach Nuno Espirito Santo for the final time.

Anthony Elanga marked his second Premier League start with the opening goal, but Nelson Semedo equalised for the home side to the delight of the reduced-capacity crowd.

Juan Mata, perhaps playing his final league game for the club, restored United's lead from the penalty spot deep into first-half injury time.

It proved enough for the Red Devils, who also handed a first-team debut to youngster Hannibal Mejbri as a late substitute.

Elanga's control and shooting had let him down with two early opportunities, but he made no mistake with his third, planting a firm header past Rui Patricio from a superb left-foot cross from Daniel James.

Wolves, who lost the lively Adama Traore to an apparent hamstring problem, levelled six minutes before the break after exploiting the United left. Nemanja Matic's slip allowed Leander Dendoncker to play in Fabio Silva, who cut the ball back for Semedo to sweep into the bottom-left corner.

Brandon Williams had an unlikely chance to restore United's lead but Patricio saved well at the near post from the full-back's effort.

However, the visitors got their second goal before the interval, Mata sending Patricio the wrong way from the penalty spot after a VAR check showed Romain Saiss had caught the ankle of Donny van de Beek.

Wolves enjoyed the majority of the second-half possession but struggled to muster attempts on Dean Henderson's goal, with Silva denied a good chance by the covering Axel Tuanzebe after Eric Bailly's error.

Elanga and Amad Diallo threatened on the break late on but Patricio was on hand to keep the difference to one goal.


What does it mean? United complete 2020-21 unbeaten on the road

United are just the fourth team to go an entire English top-flight season without losing an away match, after Preston North End (1888-89), Arsenal (2001-02) and Arsenal again (2003-04).

They end the season second, their highest finish since 2017-18, although the 12-point gap to champions Manchester City shows their need to strengthen before next term. Wolves end the campaign in 13th, with 45 points.

Elanga makes his mark

Elanga is the 19th teenager to score in the Premier League for United, a tally bettered only by Arsenal (20).

The 19-year-old may not be involved against Villarreal, but he has made significant strides into the first-team picture in recent weeks and could prove a reliable option for Solskjaer in 2021-22.

Bailly a concern ahead of Europa League final

With Harry Maguire unlikely to be fit, it is expected Bailly will partner Victor Lindelof against Villarreal next week.

However, the Ivorian's performance was far from steady here and he needed his young centre-back partner Tuanzebe to spare his blushes.

What's next?

While Wolves now look ahead to a new season with a new man in charge, United have three days to prepare for the Europa League final in Gdansk.

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