sport news Eric Bailly's lack of game-time is down to team-mates fighting for World Cup ...

Eric Bailly has had to take a back seat at to allow team-mates to press their World Cup claims, Jose Mourinho has revealed.

The Ivory Coast defender has been left out of three of the last four United squads after returning to action in February following ankle surgery.

It's a surprise considering Bailly has established himself as Mourinho's first-choice centre back since arriving from Villarreal for £30million in the summer of 2016, and has led to speculation this week that he has fallen out of favour with his manager.

Jose Mourinho admits he is giving those with a World Cup shot more of a chance at United

Jose Mourinho admits he is giving those with a World Cup shot more of a chance at United

Eric Bailly (right) has found game-time hard to come by - and Ivory Coast failed to qualify

Eric Bailly (right) has found game-time hard to come by - and Ivory Coast failed to qualify

However, Mourinho denied there is any problem with the player and put Bailly's omission down to the fact that Ivory Coast are not at the World Cup in Russia this summer. 

The United

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