Manchester United have confirmed that Eric Bailly is out of action for the rest of the season. Two games.
The Ivory Coast defender is going to also miss the Africa Cup of Nations, meaning that whichever club he ends up with at the start of next season may have a more refreshed player than they might have otherwise.
United’s 25-year-old player has been linked with a move away for the past season, with Arsenal featuring prominently for the player who initially impressed in the back line before showing inconsistency and a proneness to injury.
Bailly will miss both games against Huddersfield and Cardiff in the coming weeks, meaning he will not be able to assist in United’s half-hearted push for a Champions League place, which was dealt a blow in the 1-1 draw against Chelsea.
He suffered knee ligament damage which will require months to recover from. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer praised Bailly but confirmed he would miss a significant chunk of time, saying:
“He will need a scan tomorrow [Monday] but I don’t think it is the worst knee injury you can have.
“He will be out for the rest of the season, I don’t think we will see him again before next season.
”But he is a warrior, he played well today, he was calm, he was composed and it was just unfortunate that he had to come off.“
United require at least two of Arsenal, Chelsea and Spurs - all above them in the table - to slip up if they are to get a chance of qualifying for the Champions League next season. It isn’t going to happen.