Cape Town - Manchester United plan to trigger their two-year extension option in Eric Bailly's contract before the end of the month, senior club sources have indicated.
The Old Trafford central defender's current deal runs out at the end the campaign although the Red Devils have no intention of allowing him to quit on a free transfer.
Bailly, who could return to action against Liverpool at Anfield in the Premier League this Sunday following six months out with a knee injury, is being kept in the loop.
The Ivorian is said to be 'comfortable' with the prospect of United now retaining his services until 2022 despite interest from elsewhere.
Bailly's career to date at the Theatre of Dreams has been blighted ever since his Pound 30m arrival from Spanish side Villarreal in 2016, playing just 73 times during the last four seasons.
There is still a feeling Bailly is one of the club's best defenders when he is fit and firing on all cylinders - certainly when it comes to his overall physicality and recovery pace.
It's understood boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has also spoken to the Ivory Coast international about his immediate future, reinforcing his own faith in the player.
United have turned down previous loan requests for Bailly and would only consider letting him leave if they were to recoup their original outlay.
Solskjaer confirmed our story on Wednesday that Bailly "might be ready" to face Jurgen Klopp's Premier League leaders this weekend on Merseyside although the Norwegian won't make a decision until after a final training session on Saturday.
United have in recent years been prudent enough to include extension clauses in the majority of deals they have agreed, which has been able to afford them extra breathing space as they determine how their squad shapes up going forward.