Ivorian Bailly set to be Mourinho’s 1st signing for Man United: Reports

  • AFP, London
  • Updated: Jun 08, 2016 17:41 IST
Villarreal’s Eric Bailly (left) duels for the ball with Sparta Praha’s Ladislav Krejci during their Europa League quarterfinal match at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal, Spain. (AP File Photo)

Jose Mourinho’s first signing for Manchester United looks set to be highly-rated young Ivory Coast international defender Eric Bailly and not veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic, according to British media reports.

The 22-year-old Villarreal defender -- who scored one of the penalties in the penalty shootout which saw Ivory Coast win the 2015 Africa Cup of Nations -- will cost United a reported 30million pounds (38.4 million euros, $43.7 million).

Bailly, who moved to Spain aged just 17 when he joined Villarreal’s rivals Espanyol, impressed last season as his side conceded just 35 goals in 38 league matches and also reached the Europa League semi-finals.

Bailly -- who cost Villarreal just £4.4million when he joined from Espanyol last year -- will have to work on his discipline on the pitch as he was booked 10 times last term and sent off once.

Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to United -- having left French champions Paris Saint Germain at the end of the season -- as he enjoyed a good relationship with Mourinho at Italian side Inter Milan.

However, the 34-year-old -- presently in training with the Swedish squad for Euro 2016 -- has toyed with questioners who have asked him if he was joining United.

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