Midfield maestro is an £80m target for Europa League champions
Leon Bailey, who has yet to make his senior debut for Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz, has once more appeared to be a serious target for English Premier League giants Chelsea.
The 21-year-old Kingston-born whizzy winger turned down a £30m move to the recently crowned Europa League champions in January 2017, when Italian coach Antonio Conte was at the helm.
And Conte’s compatriot Maurizio Sarri, whose future at Chelsea is in the balance as Italian champions Juventus are allegedly in the process of poaching the 60-year-old coach, is seeking a replacement after last week’s prolonged exit of Belgium star Eden Hazard to Spain’s Real Madrid.
However, the west London club cannot make a move for Bailey until the outcome of their appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, as they are aiming to have their transfer ban overturned.
Bayer Leverkusen’s Bailey, who last year was rumoured about potentially playing for England, had a wayward second season in the the German top flight. He fell out of favour with the head coach, who was replaced last Christmas, and then started to terrorise the defences in the Bundesliga before his season came crashing down because of a hamstring injury.
His injury meant that he was left on the bench for Jamaica’s heroic friendly 1-0 win against hosts USA, and he is aiming to be fighting fit to make his debut for the Boyz’ CONCACAF Gold Cup opener against Honduras in Kingston’s National Stadium on 17 June.
Despite making just 28 Bundesliga appearances last term and scoring a paltry five goals, the German outfit are hoping to cash in on Bailey with a transfer fee of around £80m.
This seems a significantly high amount for a player who is yet to truly shine at either club or international level. And his recent injury is likely to bring down the price.
Bailey is busy concentrating on being part of the Boyz’ set-up to tackle the Gold Cup, where they have finished runner-up in the past two tournaments.
He will be joining the 23-player squad for daily morning training sessions at the Montego Bay Sports Complex this week, under the watchful eye of head coach Theodore Whitmore.
The majority of Jamaica fans are hoping to catch a glimpse of the highly-rated Bailey in competitive action next week, but his involvement hinges on his recovery from injury.
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