Manchester United trigger Eric Bailly's two-year contract extension

James Ducker
The defender has not played this season due to a knee injury  - Getty Images Europe

Manchester United have triggered a two-year option in Eric Bailly’s contract that ties the Ivory Coast defender to Old Trafford until June 2022.

Bailly has not played this season after undergoing knee surgery in July following an injury sustained in a summer tour friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.

The defender’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season and United have responded by invoking the extension option in the deal he signed when he moved to the club from Villarreal for £30 million in 2016.

Bailly, 25, has made just 43 Premier League starts during his three and a half seasons in Manchester, his progress halted by a series of serious injury problems while he has also had a chequered disciplinary record.

He has been training back with the first team for several weeks now, though, and United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, hopes he will be a valuable option in central defence over the second half of the campaign.

United have been hindered badly by injuries this season, with Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba in addition to Bailly all having endured lengthy lay-off at different periods.

Pogba is not due back until later next month and the United midfielder has again raised eyebrows after being spotted on crutches at Paris fashion week, a fortnight after undergoing ankle surgery.

The Frenchman, whose future remains shrouded in uncertainty amid interest from Real Madrid and Juventus, has been on a few days off.

He had permission from Solskjaer to fly abroad within certain parameters and the trip to Paris with wife Maria fell within that.

Pogba’s commitment to United has been questioned in some quarters although he is said to have been working hard behind the scenes to get fit and has posted footage on social media of some of his work outs.

United are hoping to bring in a midfielder this month but remain some distance apart from Sporting Lisbon in their valuations of Portugal attacking midfielder, Bruno Fernandes. Fernandes - who is eager to move to Old Trafford - is due to play for Sporting in the Lisbon derby against Benfica on Friday night.