Bailly gets AFCON green light
Manchester United's Eric Bailly is set to link up with the Ivory Coast squad ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations, which kicks off this weekend.
We can confirm the defender is looking to be involved in the tournament, which is being held in Cameroon, despite missing Monday's Premier League game against Wolves due to injury.
Eric was forced off during the second half of the 3-1 win over Burnley, his fourth outing in the league this term. Raphael Varane and Phil Jones formed the centre-half pairing last time out, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof also absentees.
Bailly is a key figure for his country and scored when the Elephants reached the quarter-finals at the Olympics last year, losing to Spain at that stage.
Fellow countryman Amad is not in the Africa Cup of Nations squad but Hannibal will represent Tunisia this month, following his fine recent showing in the Arab Cup.
Ivory Coast open their group campaign against Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday 12 January before facing Sierra Leone four days later.
The team's third fixture of that stage is on 20 January and promises to be a tough one against Algeria.
With the final due to be played on 6 February, obviously we will have to see how far Bailly's side progress but he is definitely out of United's upcoming matches with Aston Villa, in both the Emirates FA Cup and Premier League, and probably the home clash with West Ham United on 22 January.