Two out? Man United set for double defensive loan as Eric Bailly and Ethan Laird garner summer interest

United have already welcomed Lisandro Martínez and Tyrell Malacia in at Old Trafford, with the club needing to trim the fat off the backline before the close of the transfer window

Manchester United fans are obliged to feel wholly disappointed this summer after the Red Devils have struggled to improve the senior squad under new manager Erik ten Hag in a manner that many would have hoped for.

The Dutch tactician arrives at Old Trafford amid mounting expectations for the upcoming 2022-23 Premier League season after United finished sixth with an eleven-point gap between rivals Arsenal, while they were a whopping 35-points adrift of champions Manchester City.

With Ten Hag tasked with righting the ship as quickly as possible, it would be hard to argue that the club has done enough this transfer window across all areas of the pitch, but credible deals for Eredivisie pair Lisandro Martínez and Tyrell Malacia certainly have added considerable quality to the back line.

But with those completed deals have meant an overload of defensive options at current stand stands as fourteen players on United’s book for just four positions in the first XI, with United now in a position where they need to trim some of the fat off the backline.

Thankfully for the Red Devils, both Ivorian center-back Eric Bailly and United academy product Ethan Laird have garnered interest.

Per reports by The Athletic’s Manchester United correspondent Laurie Whitwell, Serie A pair AS Roma and AC Milan have turned their attention toward Bailly for a possible loan move this summer though it is fair to suggest that the Ivorian would likely be a depth option at both clubs given the quality on offer at the San Siro as well as the Stadio Olimpico.

As for Laird, the 20-year-old England youth international has turned heads during United’s pre-season program and could be set for a loan move to the Championship as Watford is said to have expressed interest in the Basingstoke native, with Laird needing credible minutes this season given the likes of Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diego Dalot both in the senior picture as well as the club potentially moving for a right-back before the window closes.

Should the Red Devils temporarily shed both players off the squad list for 2022-23, the overall picture under Ten Hag could take yet another important step forward.

Andrew Thompson

US-based Football writer. German football guru with a wealth of experience in youth development and analysis. Data aficionado. Happily championing the notion that Americans have a knowledgeable voice in the beautiful game.

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