Chelsea have reportedly received a major boost in pursuit of Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, who is also a target for Arsenal.
According to a report by Daily Express, who cite Kicker, Leon Bailey has his heart set on joining Chelsea in the January transfer window. The Bayer Leverkusen winger is also being tailed by Arsenal, who now face a tall order in their bid to sign the 21-year-old.
Bailey has been a highly sought-after figure in the transfer market ever since his days with KRC Genk. The move to Bayer Leverkusen has only shone the spotlight further on him, with his performances doing the talking for him.
The player has started the 2018-19 season strongly as well, even though Bayer seem to be struggling in the early stages. His exploits have not gone unnoticed, with the who’s who of Premier League football chasing after him. In particular though, Chelsea and Arsenal are showing the most concrete of interest in Bailey.
At Chelsea, Eden Hazard’s future remains up in the air, with Real Madrid still having their sights set on him. Should the Belgian end up joining the Spanish heavyweights, Bailey could be just the player to be the torch bearer for the Blues for the long-term future.
In case Hazard ends up staying, Bailey could be deployed on the right flank, where he can take over from Willian and Pedro, who are both on the wrong side of 30. But, while the Jamaican winger is a viable target for Chelsea, the West Londoners will face stiff competition from Arsenal.
The interest from the Gunners does make a lot of sense, considering they don’t have a single natural winger in their squad. While the likes of Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Alex Iwobi and Danny Welbeck have played on the flanks for Arsenal, they prefer playing more centrally, which means a player like Bailey will come as a welcome solution at Emirates.
Arsenal though, face an uphill task in trying to swoop Bailey away from Bayer Leverkusen. The 21-year-old has taken a call on his future, if the report is to be believed, with Chelsea being his preferred destination.
To provide the Blues a further boost, the report also suggests that Bailey is ready to join Chelsea in the January transfer window. Whichever way the player does end up going, he will cost a premium, considering he only signed a new long-term deal with Bayer Leverkusen last month.
It is also here, where Chelsea could hold the aces, knowing as Arsenal have been operating on a limited budget. A few months still remain for the transfer window to reopen. It remains to be seen if Arsenal can do anything to change Bailey’s mind in that time, or if Chelsea come up trumps instead.