Trio chase cut-price for Jamaican ace Bailey
Leon Bailey, the talented 20-year-old from Kingston, Jamaica, is being pursued by a cluster of top-tier clubs but at a knockdown price.
The whizzy winger, who has made an impact in the German top flight with Bayer Leverkusen, is on the wanted list of Arsenal, AS Roma and Chelsea.
The German giants turned down a bid earlier this year by Chelsea as they were holding out for £60m, but now are reportedly prepared to accept lower offers for their prized asset with new Blues manager Maurizo Sarri as keen on Bailey as his predecessor Antonio Conte.
Arsenal, another Premiership team going through a transformation after replacing long-term manager Arsene Wenger with former Paris St. Germain boss Unai Emery, are eager to add a sixth summer signing to give the Gunners a shot at winning the League title.
AS Roma, who have been chasing the Italian Serie A crown in recent years to no avail due to the sheer dominance by Juventus, were known to want to capture the signing of Bailey a few seasons ago and are likely to renew their interest.
Bailey’s stepfather and agent Craig Butler explained: “Roma were interested in Leon a couple of years ago. Being linked to a great club like Roma is an honour.
“I don’t know if Roma are speaking to some intermediary, but they’d have to talk to me.
“It wouldn’t be wise not to listen to Roma, but always respecting our agreement with Bayer Leverkusen, a club that has my respect.”
And with former interest from Manchester City and Manchester United seemingly on the wane for Bailey, then the latest trio to express an interest will fancy a shot to convince Bailey to join them.
The Premiership transfer deadline is 9 August, so any negotiations will have to take place next week if Bailey is to make a move to England.
He has represented Jamaica at U23 level just once but never turned out for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz senior side, although that is due to an ongoing spat between Butler and the Jamaica Football Federation.
And where Bailey plies his trade next is entirely in the hands of Butler, who has expertly orchestrated his career to date and protected him. Whether England is the next stage for the 20-year-old remains to be seen, but Butler will call the shots wherever he ends up.
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