Manchester United have rejected Arsenal’s request to take Eric Bailly on loan for the rest of the season and you really have to wonder why Arsenal bothered asking in the first place.

BURNLEY, ENGLAND – SEPTEMBER 02: Jose Mourinho, Manager of Manchester United in discussion with Eric Bailly of Manchester United as he replaces Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Burnley FC and Manchester United at Turf Moor on September 2, 2018 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Why, just why would United agree to help Arsenal fix their defence when both sides will be fighting it out for that final Champions League spot? I have no idea, still, you have to admire their optimism for asking in the first place.

According to an exclusive in the Daily Mail, Arsenal wanted the 24-year-old on loan until the end of the season with a view to purchasing when they have some cash in the summer.

190123 daily mail eric bailly
Daily Mail 23 January 2019

Bailly has just under 18 months left on the deal he signed when Jose Mourinho signed him for £30m in 2016 and is not a first-choice starter under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Even before Mourinho was sacked there were reports Arsenal were interested in Bailly.

Bailly is believed to want a United stay but much depends on who their new manager is.