Official: Manchester United complete signing of centre-back Eric Bailly

Manchester United have confirmed the signing of Eric Bertrand Bailly

Official: Manchester United complete signing of centre-back Eric Bailly
Above: Manchester United have completed the signing of Eric Bailly | Photo: Manchester United FC via Getty

Jose Mourinho has made his first signing of his  Manchester United reign as they have confirmed the signing of Villarreal CF defender Eric Bertrand Bailly subject to a work permit. 

'Dream come true' for defender

The 22-year-old is considered one of the best central defenders in Europe having signed for Villarreal from Espanyol back in January 2015 as a replacement for Arsenal's Gabriel. Bailly went on to make 47 appearances for the club. 

The reported fee for this move is believed to be in the region of £30 million and he has signed a four-year contract at the Red Devils with the option of a further two years. The Ivorian shared his delight at making the move. 

Bailly told the club's official website that it was a "dream come true" to join the club and playing football "at the highest level" is all the defender has "ever wanted to do." 

He continued saying that he wants to "progress" and "be the best" that he can be. Bailly believes that "working with Jose Mourinho" will help him develop "in the right way" and at the "right club". The Ivorian said he is "looking forward" to meeting his "new team-mates" and start a "new chapter" in his life. 

Bailly in action for Villarreal against Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga | Photo: Angel Martinez/Real Madrid CF
Bailly in action for Villarreal against Cristiano Ronaldo in La Liga | Photo: Angel Martinez/Real Madrid CF

Big potential for 22-year-old

Bailly is the first signing of the new era at Old Trafford after Mourinho replaced Louis van Gaal and is expected to continue his transfer with Zlatan Ibrahimovic expected to sign on the dotted line but Mourinho admitted that Bailly could be one of the best in the business. 

Mourinho said that Bailly is a "young central defender" with a "great natural talent" and has "progressed well to date". Mourinho believes Bailly has the "potential" to be "one of the best around." 

He continued saying that the club "look forward" to working with the defender and "help nurture" his "raw talent" and help "fulfill his potential" and believes he is at the "right club" to "continue his development."