Dependable Manchester United centre-back Eric Bailly has put pen-to-paper in a new contract at the Aon Training Complex.
The 27 year old also revealed his ambitions after signing the new 3 year deal that will keep him at the club until 2024.
The Ivory Coast international said he did not have to contemplate before agreeing terms that will run until June 2024, with the option of a further year.
The rugged defender known for his combative style is aiming to remain injury-free, lift the Europa League trophy this term and then sustain a push for the Premier League title in 2021/22.
“I’m very happy,” he told the club media. “This decision is something I didn’t have to think about, I love this club and I love playing for Manchester United. I’m happy and so are my family, everything is good. Now the moment with my injury has passed and I’m fit and feel good, and that’s it. A new contract is like a new challenge and I’m ready for this.”
The no-nonsense Bailly admits it is important for any player to have that stability off the pitch by resolving their future and is pleased to have the faith of the manager and his staff.
“That’s why I say the new contract shows the group has confidence in me – the coach, the staff and the players and, for me, that is very important,” he said. “And that’s why I made this decision to stay at the club.”
The Elephants player won the Europa League with the English giants in 2017 and the Reds meet Roma in the first leg of the semi-final of this year’s competition at Old Trafford on Thursday.
“For me, it’s the dream to be here,” he added. “Now it’s my fifth season and I hope to be here a long time.
“We are in a good position. We have the Europa League and we are second in the league and that is very good. We hope we can win this trophy [Europa League] – it is very important for us and for the fans and for the season. We want to finish well in the Premier League as well, I’m sure we will.
“I hope I can be ready and I don’t get any injuries and to be strong and finish the season well. I hope to win the Europa League this season. We will have more challenges next season – hopefully the Champions League – and, for me, my dream is to win the Premier League, that’s my big dream.”
When asked if he feels the Reds can challenge on that front next season, he replied: “I believe, I believe. I believe in my team-mates. We are a good, young team. The team wants to improve and that’s very important for the group for next season.”
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had this to say about Eric Bailly after he signed his contract extension.
“I am pleased that Eric has signed this new contract. He is still learning and improving all of the time under the coaches here.
“Eric has improved his robustness since my time as manager and he will continue to play a significant part in the squad.
“He possesses fantastic speed, timing of tackle and has that aggression which, of course, you need as a centre-back. He is a popular member of the squad and we look forward to continuing to work with him going forward.”
Bailly moved to Old Trafford from Villarreal in 2016.