Genk’s teenage sensation Leon Bailey has stated that he would consider joining Manchester United only if he is guaranteed first-team action
According to Michael Kelleher of Sky Sports, Genk winger Leon Bailey will move to Manchester United only if he is guaranteed regular first-team football. The player has also stated that it is his dream to play in England’s top flight, but will not change clubs if he is restrained to a peripheral role.
“I’ve always dreamt of the Premier League,” Bailey said, in an interview with HLN Sport. “But if, let’s say, Man United can’t guarantee me minutes, I will stay at Genk.
“The important thing is that in the near future there a lot of games to come. This is essential for me because I have to take more steps. I’ve already made a lot of progress.
“When I go, where I go? That is a matter for my management. From the moment that there is something concrete, we’ll sit down at the table.”
The 19-year-old Jamaican, who also qualifies to play for Belgium, has reportedly been watched by United’s scouts this season. Jose Mourinho’s side has lacked quality out-and-out wingers this season, and players like Marcus Rashford, Wayne Rooney and Juan Mata have been deployed out wide.
Adding a player of Bailey’s calibre will not only give Mourinho an option for the future, but will also see the Jamaican bring the added tenacity and creativity to the table for the Red Devils. Also, given his relatively tender age, it may not take him to much to adapt to life in the Premier League.
Bailey was also one of the forty men to be nominated for UEFA’s Golden Boy – an award given to the best player under the age of 21 in Europe. Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Arsenal’s Alex Iwobi were few of the other players in the reckoning for the award, but Bayern Munich’s Renato Sanches swooped the award.
Genk’s technical director Dimitri De Conde has stated that there is an added interest for the 19-year-old, and that the club are doing everything they can to keep hold of their prized asset. However, he also admitted that if a big-money offer comes their way, it might be difficult to stop the player from leaving the club.