Bayer Leverkusen prodigy Leon Bailey is expected to be the subject of a three way battle between Premier League giants Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester United in the summer transfer window.
According to a report from the The Mirror, the Premier League giants, or any other interested parties will have to pay upwards of £40 million for the Jamaican speedster. Leverkusen seemed determined to hold onto their star man this month, but may consider cashing in on him in the summer.
The German outfit are currently placed fourth in the Bundesliga standing, level on points with Borussia Dortmund, Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig. They are embroiled in a 4-way battle for third place and are having a good season so far, thanks in no small part to Leon Bailey.
In only 16 games across all competitions, the 20-year-old has netted 8 goals and provided 2 assists so far. His pace and trickery has allowed him cause chaos on the wings and with the kind of performances that he has put in, it was only a matter of time before he was linked to some of Europe’s biggest clubs.
There were reports earlier of Chelsea having a £22million bid rejected by Leverkusen for the former RC Genk winger and Arsenal, along with long term suitors Manchester United have also been reported to join the Blues in pursuit of Bailey this month.
At only 20 years of age, Bailey would be a fantastic acquisition for each of these clubs. Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil’s contracts run out in the summer and the Gunners have failed to replace Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain so far. So clearly, Arsenal are clearly in need of reinforcements on the wings.
The rumours linking Eden Hazard to Real Madrid refuse to die down and the Belgian is yet to extend his contract with Chelsea, while Willian has been heavily linked to Manchester United after seeing his role in the first team reduce significantly after the formation change this season.
While Bailey wouldn’t exactly be a like-for-like replacement for either of those players, he has the potential to grow into a world class player in time and would certainly help cushion the immediate blow.
Manchester United on the other had, already have a number of players who can play on the wings, so they might find convincing Bailey to come and compete with Anthony Martial, Juan Mata, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jesse Lingard for a spot in the team, a bit difficult.
However, there have been concerns about the form of Mkhitaryan, while Juan Mata turns 30 this year. Despite all the quality present, Mourinho has been trying bolster his options on the flanks. They were heavily linked to Ivan Perisic in the summer, but the Croatian ultimately stayed put at Inter Milan.
So clearly, Bailey has no shortage of suitors and should he continue this current form, more clubs are almost certain to join their English trio as the season goes on. With 4 years left on his current contract, Bayer Leverkusen will be in no rush to offload him. They would likely welcome a bidding war for the youngster and it will be interesting to see how much the young Jamaican goes for, should he be allowed to leave the BayArena in the summer.