Leon Bailey was in London over the weekend, fuelling rumours that the 23-year-old Jamaican midfielder is preparing a move to the English Premier League (EPL).
The Bayer Leverkusen star, whose form has been indifferent over the past 20 months, is being heavily linked with Tottenham Hotspur as well Carlo Anceloti’s Everton.
Following his insipid performance in his German club’s recent Europa League quarter-final exit to Italian giants Inter Milan, where he contributed just one significant cross after appearing as a second-half substitute, it has transpired that Bailey was in the English capital. Bailey, who has made it blatant that he no longer sees eye-to-eye with Leverkusen head coach Peter Rosz, has enlisted the same agent as Jamaican-born football star Raheem Sterling in a bid to compete in the EPL.
However, their offices would have been closed over the weekend and England is obviously not the sort of place to visit as a tourist at the moment because of the high number of cases of coronavirus.
Bailey’s location on an Instagram post may have been pointing towards a visit to Jose Morinho’s Tottenham Hotspur for potential transfer talks.
He caught the eye of leading European clubs with his pacy performances during his inaugural season in the German Bundesliga (2017-18), but Bailey turned down a lucrative deal to Chelsea as he wasn’t guaranteed a starting berth. Since that campaign, which saw him score a dozen times and provide six goal assists, he has produced some stutterting displays and represented Jamaica six times.
His stepfather Craig Butler, who likes to call the shots, is getting increasingly frustrated that his protege isn’t getting a starting spot under Rosz. And Bailey’s agents are ready to pay off the rest the remaining three years of his contract to leave the German outfit.
Ambitious Leverkusen managing director Rudi Völler, who wants to keep the talented winger, is wanting the Kingston-born ace to show more consistency.
Völler, after it was revealed that Bailey was briefly in London, spoke to respected German football magazine Kicker and said: “You can see that he’s blessed with quality, but he has lacked continuity. It’s also clear that he has to do a bit more.”
Everton aren’t an option for Bailey, according to Kicker, as he would only consider joining a top club that are annually fighting for Champions League berths. Bailey missed out on reaching Europe’s most coveted club competition next season as Leverkusen finished fifth in the league and failed to capture the Europa League.
His current value is estimated to be hovering around a seemingly high price of US$33m, a third of his transfer value just two years ago, so any leading club would be clearly taking a gamble on splashing the cash on an out-of-form player.
Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes, involved in Bailey’s arrival Belgium top tier team Genk in January 2017, said to Kicker: “You get the feeling with him that he wants to force things. He doesn’t seem to be playing with the same looseness, freedom and intuitive as in his first season.”
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