Man Utd reject desperate Arsenal loan offer for defender Eric Bailly with view to permanent transfer

The Ivory Coast international cost the Red Devils £30million when he became one of Jose Mourinho’s first signings for the club.

But after a bright start he is no longer a regular at United and the Gunners believed they could tempt Ole Gunnar Solskjaer into allowing the 24-year-old to leave this week.

The Daily Mail claim Unai Emery and Arsenal contacted their top four rivals over the possibility of taking the centre-half on loan with a view to a permanent deal this summer.

But Solskjaer does not want to lose any of his players at this stage of the season.

And United have no intentions of strengthening a fellow Champions League qualification challenger.

Emery is struggling for defensive cover ahead of the FA Cup clash between the two clubs on Friday with Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin both expected to be ruled out for the remainder of the campaign through injury.

Bailly has started just one of Solskjaer’s seven games in charge – which have all ended in victory for the Norwegian caretaker boss – but he was sent off against Bournemouth.

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The former Villarreal ace only has 18 months remaining on his contract at United.

The club do have an option to extend the deal by two years, but the Old Trafford hierarchy are delaying a decision until a new permanent manager has been appointed.

Emery has no funds to spend this transfer window and was hoping to exploit the loan market to help solve his dilemma in defence.

He believed he could use the uncertainty over Bailly’s contract to his advantage, but now he will be forced to look elsewhere.

The former Espanyol man was disillusioned with life at United under Mourinho towards the end but now wants to stay and prove himself to the Stretford End following the change in the dug-out.

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