Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey has been high on Manchester United’s radar, according to recent reports. The Red Devils are interested in moving for Bailey as Solskjaer prepares for a major rebuild at United. The Norwegian, despite overseeing only a single transfer window at the club, has been on the receiving end of an increasing amount of praise.
Ole Gunnar Solskajer has certainly upgraded the Manchester United squad with top-class signings. Ole signed youngsters such as Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka alongside Harry Maguire last summer, while the winter transfer window saw him bringing in Bruno Fernandes and Odion Ighalo, all of whom have proved to be vital upgrades to United’s previous standards.
The Jamaican born Leon Bailey plays as a left-winger for both Bayer Leverkusen and the Jamaican national football team. Transfermarkt sets his current market value at €29.50m. The 22-year-old winger currently holds a personal best of seven goals and three assists across all competitions this season.
Leon Bailey made his Champions League debut in 2017, not long after signing with Bayer Leverkusen. His first goal for the Bundesliga side came in August 2017 in a German Cup match against Karlsruher SC. He scored his first Bundesliga goal against FC Schalke 04 in September 2017.
As for his country, Bailey told German outlet Kicker (via Squawka) in 2017 that he would refuse any calls from the Jamaican national football team until standards improved. He also said that he has had personal issues with the administration since his childhood.
“They always want me to play for Jamaica, but I’ve had personal problems with the association since I was eleven or twelve years old.”
Winfried Schäfer, former coach of the Jamaican football team, said in an interview that despite inviting Bailey numerous times, his step-father blocked all calls and offers. Bailey almost accepted a call-up but refused after his request that Kyle Butler, his brother who is a reserve player for FC Juniors OÖ, also be called-up was denied. However, the winger finally donned the black green and gold jersey in 2019 for that year’s Gold Cup.
Although Leon Bailey has been linked with United, he is certainly not their first choice. The Red Devils are primarily after Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho, with reports from the Guardian stating that United are in advanced talks with the German side and a fee could be agreed in a few days. Moreover, with Solskjaer looking to sign more attackers, Bailey is the bargain choice if the transfer talks break down regarding Sancho.
Earlier, rumours of United’s interest in Sancho waning followed after comments from United’s CEO Ed Woodward, who stated that transfer speculations ignore the hardships that sports like football face in light of Covid-19. This led to speculations saying that United are eyeing cheaper options such as Leon Bailey.
Bailey, however, has also piqued the interest of other teams. Reports from Foot Mercato via 90Min state that Pep Guardiola is planning to bring Bailey to Etihad to replace Leroy Sane. Therefore, Manchester United needs to act quickly if they want to secure the player. Chelsea and Liverpool have also expressed interest in the Bayer Leverkusen attacker in the past.
Previously, Leon Bailey rejected offers from United as well as City to remain at Bayer Leverkusen. He expressed that he was more interested in continuing his progress in Germany at the time. As of 2020, however, we may see Bailey finally making the switch to England.
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Despite having three years remaining on his deal with Bayer Leverkusen, they are reportedly open to accepting an offer in the area of £30m. Guardiola has been in contact with Bailey, who is hoping to impress scouts at Leverkusen’s upcoming Europa League second-leg match against Rangers.
Even with all the ongoing transfer speculations, one thing is certain. With various industries in the United Kingdom still on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Premier League cannot yet return to standard operating procedures. Action and interactivity have been reduced greatly for fans and players alike.
Football fans have begun turning to various alternatives like online sports channels to fuel their need for sports adrenaline. Get free credit from SBFPlay to keep your sports fan enthusiast needs fully sated as the Premier League gets back on its feet.