Bayer Leverkusen have rejected Chelsea’s £22m ($29.3m) offer to sign Leon Bailey during the upcoming January transfer window.
The right-winger is playing his first full season in the Bundesliga following his arrival from Genk during the 2017 January transfer window and he has been impressive in his first 13 matches across all competitions for the German club.
Bailey has scored five goals and assisted four thus far this campaign and that has attracted interest from clubs across Europe. Apart from Chelsea, Premier League rivals Manchester United and Catalan giants Barcelona are also keeping tabs on the Jamaican star.
According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea have been keeping tabs on Bailey since he moved to Europe as a 15-year-old and are now keen to bring him to Stamford Bridge. The Jamaica international is said to be viewed as a long-term replacement for Eden Hazard, who has long been linked with a move to Real Madrid.
The Blues are said to be scouting the 20-year-old on a regular basis with the latest being Leverkusen’s game against Stuttgart, where Bailey played a crucial role. He assisted both the goals as the Bundesliga outfit ran away 2-0 winners.
Leverkusen, however, are not keen on selling their young prodigy and have rebuffed Chelsea’s initial approach. The Blues could return with another offer, with Antonio Conte admitting recently that he is not satisfied with the depth of his current squad.
Jose Mourinho’s side were keen on signing the right winger last year and were linked with a move during the winter transfer window. And his former club Genk were willing to allow him if a ‘mega bid’ arrived from interested clubs.
“We’ll fight to keep them here until the end of this season, but that is no easy task. If mega bids – by Belgian standards – are made, then we cannot reject it, and if the boys also feel ready for a step up then it will be very difficult to keep them in Genk,” de Conde said last year before he moved to Leverkusen in January this year, as quoted by Goal.com. “I must be ready with alternatives.”
Leverkusen moved faster than the 20-time English champions and secured his signature in a move said to be worth around €15m plus add-ons. They will now have their hands full as interested clubs plot to take Bailey away from the BayArena.
Barcelona are recent entrants into the race after the La Liga outfit’s technical secretary Robert Fernandez and assistant Urbano Ortega were spotted at Leverkusen’s 2-2 draw against Wolfsburg on 15 October.