“If that happens I will have to look for another solution.”
Eric Bailly may have recently signed a new contract with Manchester United but he remains wary about his place at the club and has sent a clear message to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer .
Amid much speculation linking Bailly with a move away from Old Trafford, the Ivorian defender put pen to paper on an extension last month which will keep him at the club until 2024.
United are rumoured to be targeting the signing of a new centre-half this summer and while Bailly would welcome the competition in the United ranks, he has made it clear that he will push for a departure if he does not receive more starting opportunities in the first team.
“Competition is always good to improve,” Bailly told The Times.
Bailly issues warning to Solskjaer
“I just say that I want to stay in case I get the chance to play. I don’t want to be a starter one game and a substitute for another five. If that happens I will have to look for another solution.
“The new contract is fine but if I don’t play I will be open to listen to other proposals.”
Bailly made just 12 appearances in the Premier League this season as fitness issues reportedly continued to hamper his playing opportunities.
Since his debut season with the Red Devils, Bailly has struggled to nail down a regular starting role at the club but during recent conversations with Solskjaer, the 27-year-old left no room for ambiguity with his determination to break into the first team.
“Before signing the contract I wanted to be clear about my future in the team,” Bailly revealed.
“If I’m going to get minutes and if I’m going to be OK, because I’m aware that I’ve had a lot of injuries. But I’m back and I feel strong and fit. I can be at the level that a top club like Manchester United requires.”
United come up against Bailly’s former team, Villarreal, in Wednesday night’s Europa League final, with club captain Harry Maguire expected to miss the match due to injury.
It remains to be seen whether Bailly starts in Gdansk but he is optimistic of being given the nod by his manager.
“Solskjaer hasn’t told us anything yet but I’m in good shape and I hope to start against Villarreal,” he said.