Fulham are in talks with Manchester United about a potential loan move for Ivorian international defender Eric Bailly, according to various reports this evening.

The 28 year-old has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford in recent seasons and United are open to allowing him to leave this summer after he featured in just seven games last season. Fulham’s opening offer is understood to be a loan with an option to buy but, with Eric ten Haag eager to bolster his squad, the Red Devils would prefer a straight sale or a loan arrangement arrangement that includes an obligation for a permanent purchase.

Bailly, who has two years to run on his current contract, joined United for £30m from Villarreal in June 2016. He has made 113 first-team appearances in six years, scoring a single goal, and has won the League Cup and Europa League during his time at Old Trafford. Bailly came through the Espanyol youth system, having been spotted at a youth tournament in Burkina Faso, and moved to the Yellow Submarine in 2015 for £5m.

The 6ft 2in centre half, who can also play at right back, was an ever present as the Ivory Coast won the 2015 African Cup of Nations and was part of his country’s Olympic squad for the Tokyo Games, where he scored as the Elephants were beaten by Spain at the quarter-final stage. He missed the decisive penalty as the Ivory Coast were eliminated after a goalless draw against Egypt in this year’s African Cup of Nations in Cameroon.

Bailly is the latest centre back to be linked with a move to Fulham following their promotion to the Premier League, with Marco Silva believed to be a long-term admirer of ball-playing defender. It remains to be seen whether the Whites can strike a deal to bring Bailly to Craven Cottage.