As per a report form The Mirror this afternoon, the English FA are considering an approach for Bayer Leverkusen sensation Leon Bailey, ahead of this summer’s World Cup.
Bailey, a 20-year-old Jamaican winger, only made the move to the BayArena in January of last year for a fee of 20 million Euro, following links with the likes of Barcelona and Manchester United.
The pacy starlet caught the eye with his performances in the Europa League for Belgian outfit Genk last season, and has racked up 11 goals and 5 assists in 23 domestic appearances to this point in the campaign with Leverkusen (17 starts).
However, despite being just 5 months into his first full season in the Bundesliga, Bailey has already been heavily linked with a departure from the BayArena, with a number of Europe’s biggest clubs known to maintain an interest in his services.
Reports stemming from England last month claimed that Chelsea had emerged as the leading contenders for his signature, with the Daily Mail even going as far as to suggest that the Blues had seen a 25 million Euro offer rejected by Leverkusen.
And, as per the aforementioned story courtesy of The Mirror this afternoon, club sides are seemingly not the only ones vying over Bailey’s future, with claims emerging that England boss Gareth Southgate is strongly considering approaching the youngster regarding switching his international allegiances to the Three Lions.
Bailey has not yet lined-out for Jamaica at senior level, and as such can still opt to represent any country for whom he is eligible (Jamaica, England, Belgium and Malta).
He qualifies for English citizenship through two of his grandparents, who hold British passports, with suggestions this afternoon that Gareth Southgate has been so impressed with the winger’s form in Germany that he could offer Bailey a guaranteed spot in his World Cup squad this summer.
Though Bailey has not yet given any indication of an international preference on his part, early reports suggest that the former Genk standout would find it hard to turn down the opportunity to represent England.