Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has confirmed in an interview that Manchester City were one of several high profile Premier League clubs to show interest in him during the summer.
The 21-year-old Jamaican, a personal friend of Raheem Sterling, gained much attention with his eye-catching performances for Bayer last season, but is finding game time harder to come by this term with just 565 minutes played in the Bundesliga.
In an interview with the FourFourTwo magazine, the flying winger named City as one of several English clubs — the others being Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea — to have expressed an interest, a fact City Watch reported exclusively in February.
“Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool – lots of clubs were interested,” Bailey revealed to FourFourTwo. “But the most important thing as a pro is taking things a step at a time and not rushing to the top too quickly. Because once you get there, where do you go next?
“I believe the right timing is important, and it was the right moment to be at Bayer Leverkusen.
“They are a tremendous club with so much history. A lot of good players have come from there; they can get into the Champions League and are always doing well. So why not them? It was the perfect move for me and I’m happy I made it.
“My focus isn’t really on moving anywhere yet. I’m just about what’s happening right now rather than what could happen in the future. I’m still learning.”
City decided to stick with their main target, Riyad Mahrez, eventually securing him in a club-record deal from Leicester and ending their interest in Bailey.