Just days after being linked with a £20m transfer to Arsenal, Manchester United’s Eric Bailly has suffered ligament damage keeping him out for the rest of the season.

eric bailly
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – OCTOBER 02: Eric Bailly of Manchester United speaks with Marcelino Garcia Toral, Manager of Valencia after the Group H match of the UEFA Champions League between Manchester United and Valencia at Old Trafford on October 2, 2018, in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Manchester United confirmed on Monday that Bailly suffered a medial ligament injury on his right knee during their match against Chelsea at the weekend. As a result, Bailly won’t be available for selection for the remainder of the season, nor for the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations tournament this summer.

Just last week, Bailly was being linked with a summer move to Arsenal. The Daily Star wrote that the Gunners were ‘set to sign’ the defender, with negotiations over a £20m transfer about to begin.

Unai Emery is reportedly a big fan of the former Valencia man, and Bailly’s departure reportedly appeared to be ‘inevitable’. With a year left on his United contract, that wouldn’t have been surprising.

This latest injury has thrown a spanner in the works though. Bailly was already injury prone, and ligament damage isn’t something most players brush off without any repercussions. Most likely, this deal is off now, and Arsenal will have to move onto other targets.

On the upside, this also means the strong possibility that Bailly will be available for free in the summer of 2020, assuming he recovers well and Arsenal are still interested then.