Eric Bailly: Man United defender out for four to five months after knee surgery

Solskjaer: "Eric has had an operation and will be out for four to five months. Hopefully we'll have him back around Christmas time."

Eric Bailly
Image: Eric Bailly has been plagued by injury during his time at Manchester United

Manchester United defender Eric Bailly will be out for four to five months after he was injured against Tottenham in a pre-season game.

United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said after the 1-0 friendly win over Kristiansund on Tuesday that Bailly had undergone knee surgery following the injury he sustained against Spurs in the International Champions Cup.

"Eric has had an operation and will be out for four to five months," Solskjaer said. "Hopefully we'll have him back around Christmas time.

"It was positive news from the surgeon, he had the operation this morning. He was positive it was all repaired and that he'll be fine."

Bailly was brought on at half-time in Thursday's ICC match, but pulled up with the knee problem just nine minutes after coming on as he tried to prevent Heung-Min Son from scoring.

Axel Tuanzebe 0:36
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said last week Manchester United's young centre-back Axel Tuanzebe is ready for the top level

The 25-year-old defender left Shanghai's Hongkou stadium on crutches in a knee brace after the 2-1 victory.

Bailly had only recently returned from a medial ligament injury which he suffered against Chelsea in April. He was forced to miss the Ivory Coast's Africa Cup of Nations campaign due to the problem.

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After missing United's opening pre-season game against Perth Glory in Singapore, Bailly featured in their next two matches against Leeds and Inter Milan.

Bailly has been plagued by injury during his time at United and only managed eight Premier League starts last season.

Bailly out, Maguire in?

Could Bailly's injury speed up United's bid to sign England defender Harry Maguire from Leicester?

Maguire did not take part in training with Leicester on Monday after phoning in sick, and Sky Sports News understands the 26-year-old has told Leicester he wants to leave before the transfer window shuts on August 8.

He remains the number one target at Old Trafford and United's executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward remains in talks with Leicester about a deal, after Solskjaer made it clear he wanted to sign Maguire as soon as possible.

Harry Maguire applauds Leicester fans after a friendly against Stoke
Image: Harry Maguire applauds Leicester fans after a friendly against Stoke

It is understood United would have to pay Leicester £90m for Maguire, further underlining the Foxes' stance that they feel under no pressure to sell the player.

Woodward decided to not travel out for United's pre-season tour of Australia and the Far East to work on the ongoing negotiations. According to Sky sources, it is now up to Woodward to get the deal done and Bailly's injury could speed up the process.

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