Ivory Coast international and Villarreal defender Eric Bailly has completed his medical ahead of a move to Manchester United, Sky Sport reports.
The Villarreal defender would become Jose Mourinho’s first Manchester United signing for a fee in the region of £30m.
Bailly joined Espanyol at 17 and after work permit delays and a season playing for the club’s B-team in Spain’s third tier, he made his debut for the senior side in October 2014. After only four starts – including a 5-1 defeat to Barcelona – he joined Villarreal in a £4.3m deal in January 2015.
The switch was agreed while Bailly was midway through playing the Africa Cup of Nations, a tournament that Ivory Coast eventually won on a penalty shootout. The defender, the youngest player in Herve Renard’s squad having only made his international debut the previous month, kept his nerve to convert his spot kick.
Bailly unquestionably has the physical attributes needed to thrive in the Premier League. He is quick and strong, making him particularly formidable in one-on-one situations. He was dribbled by less often than any other regular centre-back at a top-four club in Spain – that includes Diego Godin, Sergio Ramos and Gerard Pique.