Deadline Drama As Jamaican Whizz-kid Wanted By Italian Giants
AS Roma eager to snap up cut-price Bailey
Leon Bailey, the 21-year-old Jamaican whizz-kid, could be snapped up by Italian giants AS Roma on Friday’s transfer deadline day.
The Kingston-born midfield maestro, who was wanted by a number of English Premier League clubs, has been on Roma’s radar for some considerable time.
Yet the sticking point to move to Italy has been over his transfer fee. The side are willing to pay €40m (£35.77m), short of Bayer Leverkusen’s valuation remains towards the €50m (£44.71m) mark.
But with time ticking as the transfer deadline looms at close of play on Friday, Roma may wish to splash the cash on the German-based ace as they have the money to spend after missing out on Malcolm – who opted to join Barcelona instead.
Bailey, yet to play a full international for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz (down to a dispute between his stepfather and agent Craig Butler with the Jamaican Football Federation), has four years remaining on his contract with Leverkusen to compete in the Bundesliga.
He made such an impact in the German top-flight last season, netting 12 times, that Chelsea came in with a firm offer that was swiftly turned down during the January transfer window.
Bailey, whose career is guided by Butler, said: “My full focus is on developing myself as a young player, and that’s what I’ll focus on.
“If a club wants me then my management and Bayer 04 will take care of it.”
As the famous expression goes “Rome wasn’t built in a day” but Roma’s bidding for Bailey only has a day.
Bookmakers are not expecting the youngster to make a move until the summer, when a clutch of clubs are expected to hover like hawks, with Bailey quoted at 3/1 to make his way to the Italian capital on Friday to join Roma in their bid to be crowned league champions.
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