Manchester City have Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey on a shortlist of summer targets as Pep Guardiola looks to add one more wide attacker to his squad, City Watch has learned.
20-year-old Bailey is emerging as one of European football’s most exciting young players and is on the radar of several prominent European clubs – including City.
As it stands, Bailey is just one of several options with Riyad Mahrez remaining a primary target after Guardiola admitted that City had moved for the Leicester winger last summer as well as in the January window.
Chelsea star Eden Hazard is also a target but a deal is improbable because of the London club’s staunch refusal to sell to a rival. If they feel resigned to losing the 27-year-old, they would favour a sale to Real Madrid over Manchester City.
City Watch understands that Manchester City scouts have monitored Bailey extensively this season and he isn’t a new name on the radar. The Blues were watching him back in 2016 when he played for Belgian side Genk, before he made a €20million move to Bayer Leverkusen.
Bailey, who can play on both flanks, has world class potential and would represent a cheaper financial investment both in terms of transfer fee paid and wages committed than Hazard or Mahrez.
City’s number one target was Alexis Sanchez, but club chiefs were unwilling to shatter their wage structure by paying the Chilean £500,000-a-week when no other player at the club earns close to that, and he moved to Manchester United.
Bailey, who has also been subject to interest from United and Chelsea, has scored 8 goals and contributed 5 assists in 13 starts for Bayer Leverkusen this season, with his pace and trickery proving to be a nightmare for Bundesliga defences.
Though capped by Jamaica at under-20 level, Bailey is keeping his international options open and it has been suggested that he could even represent England due to his ancestry, with Germany and Belgium other options.
Speaking to Bild recently, Bailey said of his international options: “It’s been like that for years, but my opinion hasn’t changed and people have to accept that.
“Which country I play for is still open.”
Watch the young winger in action for Bayer Leverkusen: