By 90Min
February 22, 2018

Jamaica have been warned that they only have 10 days to convince Leon Bailey to represent them at international level, or face losing the Bundesliga talent to England, or even Belgium or Malta.

The 20-year-old Jamaican-born Bayer Leverkusen winger is apparently being tracked by Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate as he plans for the  World Cup in Russia, while some reports have suggested he could have a wealth of options in choosing his national team at senior level.

Bailey's father Craig Butler told the Sun that Jamaica had less than a fortnight to decide how to convince the young winger to ply his trade for them, or risk losing him.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

Bailey is possibly able to play for England through his grandparents, although some contradicting reports online have disputed his eligibility.

Butler, however, seems convinced that the Three Lions are an option for his son and explained that Jamaica would need to come up with a major reason as to why his son should snub England in favour of representing them instead.

He said: “We have given Jamaica ten days to come up with a solution or we will make alternative choices.

“England have made contact with us in the last few weeks and there will be more discussions in the future. England is not the only option - we have Malta and Belgium.”

Bailey is currently embroiled in a stand off with the Jamaican Football Federation as Butler claims that they only select their national team stars on where they are originally from.

Jamaica had hoped that Bailey would commit his future to them over other potential options, but Butler revealed that his son had not been selected to represent them at youth level and Jamaica were only interested in him now due to his rising reputation in the game.

He added: “If you end up with 17 Jamaicans playing for different nations all from my Phoenix All Stars academy, then what will that do the future of Jamaican football?

“It should force them to change how they view people instead of making it about personalities not football ability.

“Leon is 20 and has not been invited to play for the under 15s to 17s. The fact he is not capped now and has options is not his fault, it’s the Jamaican FA’s fault.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/GettyImages

“We love Jamaica very much, but we would prefer to see Jamaica developing a proper national football programme that would not have a player like Leon at 20 years old not having one youth cap for the country.

“He played one Under-23 friendly for 15 minutes, so that doesn’t count, and that was because my friend became the assistant. The selection process is inadequate and destroys Jamaica’s chances of qualifying for another World Cup."

Bailey has been linked with both clubs in the Premier League and Bayern Munich after impressing at Leverkusen this season. The winger, who has 11 goals in all competitions this season, however remains keen to continue his development at his current club for the time being.

"Leverkusen is perfect for me," he said. "I want to develop and then I can take the next step. When I move to a big club, the people there will want to know me"

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