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€38m defender Eric Bailly is Man United's first signing of the Mourinho era

Ivorian defender “has the potential to become one of the best around,” says Jose.

Bailly: part of Ivory Coast's victorious Africa Cup of Nations squad in 2015.
Bailly: part of Ivory Coast's victorious Africa Cup of Nations squad in 2015.

MANCHESTER UNITED HAVE stumped up a reported €38 million (£30m) to sign Villarreal centre-back Eric Bailly.

The Ivorian, who has signed an initial four-year contract, becomes the first signing of the Jose Mourinho era at Old Trafford.

The transfer will be completed subject to Bailly, 22, receiving his work permit.

“It is a dream come true to be joining Manchester United,” he said. “To play football at the highest level is all I have ever wanted to do.

I want to progress to be the best that I can be and I believe working with Jose Mourinho will help me develop in the right way and at the right club.

“I am looking forward to meeting my new team-mates and to starting this new chapter of my life.”

Mourinho hailed his first new recruit as a player of “great natural talent.

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“He has progressed well to date and has the potential to become one of the best around,” Mourinho said.

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Niall Kelly

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