Manchester United have triggered a two-year option in Eric Bailly’s contract that ties the Ivory Coast defender to Old Trafford until June 2022.

Bailly has not played this season after undergoing knee surgery in July following an injury sustained in a summer tour friendly against Tottenham Hotspur.

The defender’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season and United have responded by invoking the extension option in the deal he signed when he moved to the club from Villarreal for £30 million in 2016.

Bailly, 25, has made just 43 Premier League starts during his three and a half seasons in Manchester, his progress halted by a series of serious injury problems while he has also had a chequered disciplinary record.

He has been training back with the first team for several weeks now, though, and United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, hopes he will be a valuable option in central defence over the second half of the campaign.

United have been hindered badly by injuries this season, with Anthony Martial, Luke Shaw, Diogo Dalot, Axel Tuanzebe, Phil Jones Scott McTominay and Paul Pogba in addition to Bailly all having endured lengthy lay-off at different periods.

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