Personal terms are all that remain after a trusted source confirmed the nature of the clause that could see Man Utd permanently sever ties with Eric Bailly.
An exit this summer always looked likely for the Ivory Coast centre-back. Bailly was fourth-choice in his position last season and the arrival of Lisandro Martinez bumped him down yet another notch.
Bailly has two years remaining on his Manchester United deal with the club holding an option for a third. However, at 28 and no longer viewed as a front-line player, the time is now to set the exit wheels in motion.
Reports from France on Saturday claimed Marseille had struck an agreement to sign Bailly.
An initial 12-month loan was in the works with Bailly potentially making the move permanent pending certain targets being met this season.
Now, Fabrizio Romano has provided a fresh update on the situation, including confirmation there’ll be a conditional obligation to buy.
The transfer guru tweeted Bailly’s move to Marseille will be ‘decided this week’. The two clubs do indeed have a ‘full agreement’ over a loan with a conditional obligation to buy.
The obligation will be triggered if Marseille qualify for next season’s Champions League. The top three teams in Ligue 1 qualify for the UCL and Marseille finished second last term.
The move is not a done deal just yet, however, with Romano adding personal terms are yet to be thrashed out.
Regardless, a final decision on that front – and by extension the move in general – will come early this week.
Marseille business hints at Bailly resolution
Marseille finished second in Ligue 1 last season and have backed that up with an impressive summer window thus far.
They’ve turned Matteo Guendouzi and Arkadiusz Milik’s loan moves permanent. Elsewhere, goalkeeper Pau Lopez, Cengiz Ünder, Colombian Luis Suárez and Jordan Veretout have all arrived for fees around the £10m mark.
Experience has been added in the form of Alexis Sanchez too. Clearly, Marseille are keen to double down on their success from last year and look odds-on for another top three finish.
Doing just that would trigger the clause in Bailly’s contract and end his Old Trafford stay at the six-year mark.
Bailly began brightly in his first season. However, injuries, a loss of form and a lack of trust from his managers have since blighted his stay.
Clearly not rated highly by Erik ten Hag, a permanent exit next summer looks best for all involved.