By 90Min
March 16, 2018

Leon Bailey is being monitored by England ahead of a potential senior international call up in the future.

Three Lions head coach Gareth Southgate explained as much during an interview with BBC Radio 5Live (h/t Sky Sports) after he had announced his 27-man squad for the upcoming friendlies against the Netherlands and Italy later this month.

Bailey is eligible to play for England through his grandparents and hails from the same Jamaican city - Kingston - that current international Raheem Sterling was born in.

Maja Hitij/GettyImages

England and Jamaica are believed to be locking horns over who Bailey should choose to represent at the highest level of world football.

Even though he is able to play for the Jamaican Under-23s side, the 20-year-old is keeping his options open over who he will eventually represent on the world stage - and Southgate revealed that England's talent spotters would be keeping a firm eye on his progress.

He said: "Well, I'd have to say until a few months ago we had no indication that he was eligible for England. That's still a process that is ongoing and now that issue has been flagged, he's somebody we'll monitor more closely.

"But that's more for our talent identification department at this stage than it is for my selection in the short term."

Bailey has seen his reputation in European football rise rapidly over the past 18 months thanks to his scintillating form for Bayer Leverkusen.

The forward moved to the Bundesliga club from Belgian side Genk in January 2017 and has already racked up 11 goals and six assists in 35 appearances for the fourth-placed top flight outfit.

(You may also be interested in Gareth Southgate Names Last England Squad Before World Cup for Netherlands & Italy March Friendlies)

Bailey's father has already given the Jamaican FA an ultimatum about whether to call his son up or risk losing him to England but there has been no indication as to whether they will offer him a senior call-up to prevent the Three Lions from poaching another potentially key player.

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