Much like some of his teammates at Manchester United, Eric Bailly has become something of a forgotten man in recent years.
The Ivorian centre back has never been an entirely reliable presence at the heart of defence, but has found game time even more limited over the past few seasons after the arrivals of Harry Maguire, Raphael Varane, and Lisandro Martinez.
Bailly made only 20 Premier League appearances over three seasons for Manchester United, before spending last season on loan at Marseille, as manager Erik Ten Hag firmly solidified his pecking order in defence at Old Trafford.
Alongside the already departed David de Gea, and the likes of Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire, Bailly is widely expected to leave Manchester United this summer, and the latest reports suggest an old team mate is attempting to sway the defender into moving to Saudi Arabia.
Manchester United: Ronaldo in contact with Eric Bailly over Al Nassr move
One of the biggest storylines of Manchester United's rebuild last season was the abrupt mid-season departure of club hero Cristiano Ronaldo after an acrimonious fallout with manager Erik Ten Hag.
Ronaldo was released by the club ahead of the World Cup, before signing with Saudi Pro League club Al Nassr.
Since the Portuguese striker's move in January, several other big names have joined him in Saudi Arabia, and Frenchman Kylian Mbappé is the latest superstar linked with a move to the region.
One ex-Manchester United defender has already joined Ronaldo at Al-Nassr, with Alex Telles departing Old Trafford, and it seems as though he may be joined by another ex-United man in the Saudi League imminently.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 23, 2023
Sky Sports report that Ronaldo has been in contact with Eric Bailly in relation to a potential move to Saudi Arabia, as the Ivory Coast international assesses his options for the season ahead.
The report suggests that a three-year proposal is on the table for Bailly, valued at £20 million, as United seek to offload the man with just a year left on his contract.
The prospect of Ronaldo reuniting with two of the poorer performers from his time at Old Trafford is certainly an unexpected one - though it remains unclear which club Eric Bailly would sign for, should the move transpire.
Bailly is not part of Manchester United's squad for their pre-season tour, with Varane, Martinez, Victor Lindelof, and Harry Maguire all ahead of him in the defensive pecking order - and left-back Luke Shaw also likely to be favoured at centre back ahead of the Ivorian.