Antonio Conte eyeing up move for Man Utd defender in January

Eric Bailly of Manchester United in action during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Manchester City at Old Trafford on November 06, 2021 in Manchester, England. 

Tottenham head coach Antonio Conte is interested in bringing Man Utd defender Eric Bailly to north London, according to reports.

The Italian replaced Nuno Espirito Santo at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium earlier this month.

Conte had previously been in advanced talks with Spurs in June about becoming Jose Mourinho’s successor, but they broke down after the two parties were at odds over key issues.

Numerous players have been linked with a move to the north Londoners since Conte’s appointment, including AC Milan’s Franck Kessie and Inter Milan defender Stefan de Vrij.

The former Chelsea boss is eager to improve his team’s backline following Cristian Romero’s injury, with Bailly reportedly a priority.

This is according to journalist Duncan Castles, who stated on The Transfer Window Podcast that the Ivorian could be one of two centre-backs targeted by Conte.

Antonio Conte, head coach of Tottenham Hotspur during the Tottenham Hotspur training session at Tottenham Hotspur Training Centre on November 24, 2021 in Enfield, England.

Bailly has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent seasons, with the summer signing of Raphael Varane further limiting his first-team opportunities.

The 27-year-old has only made three appearances this term, scoring an own goal in his only Premier League start against Manchester City.

According to The Sun, Bailly was ‘particularly angry’ when he failed to start their away match to Leicester earlier this month with Harry Maguire rushed back from injury instead.

The report adds that the defender is now ‘wondering why he was encouraged to sign a new contract’ recently and ‘there is some sympathy within the squad’ for the Ivorian.

Meanwhile, Ralf Rangnick has reportedly reached an agreement with Man Utd to be their interim manager.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was dimissed following United’s 4-1 defeat to Watford last weekend, with Michael Carrick coming in as caretaker boss.

But the Red Devils made it clear that they would be looking to hire an interim manager to hold the fort until the end of the season, and The Athletic report that they now have their man.

Rangnick is leaving his job as head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow to take up the role.

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