Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has revealed he rejected the chance to move to several Premier League clubs earlier in his career.
Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey has revealed he rejected the chance to move to several Premier League clubs earlier in his career, believing that his best chance of regular game time was in the Bundesliga.
The 21-year-old Bailey is widely thought of as one of the most exciting prospects in world football and has regularly been linked with a departure from Leverkusen. He signed a new five-year deal with the club during the summer, but rumors of a potential departure have persisted.
Speaking to Four Four Two, Bailey stated that Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City have all expressed an interest in signing him, but the Jamaican winger rejected their advances over concerns of game time.
He said: “Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool – a lot of clubs were interested.
“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.”
A move to the Premier League is still rumored, while the likes of Bayern Munich and Roma have also been linked with Bailey. Leverkusen manager Jonas Boldt has admitted that Bailey will leave the club, but it will not be during the January transfer window.
He told German outlet Bild: "The conversation was good. We all know that Leon will eventually go. But we have made it clear that a winter change is out of the question. He also knows that he has our backing."