Highly-rated Ivory Coast defender Eric Bailly became Jose Mourinho’s first signing for Manchester United on Wednesday from Spanish outfit Villarreal.
The 22-year-old — a 2015 Africa Cup of Nations winner — signed a four year contract subject to being granted a work permit and will cost a reported £30 million (38.4 million euros, $43.7 million). Bailly, who moved to Spain aged just 17 when he joined Espanyol, impressed last season as Villarreal conceded just 35 goals in 38 league matches and also reached the Europa League semi-finals. It had been widely-thought veteran Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic would be Mourinho’s first signing.
Ibrahimovic has been linked with a move to United — having left French champions Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season just finished — as he enjoyed a good relationship with Mourinho at Italians Inter Milan.
However, the 34-year-old — presently in training with the Swedish squad for Euro 2016 — has toyed with questioners who have asked him if he was joining United.