Bayer Leverkusen confirm interest in Genk winger Leon Bailey
Bayer Leverkusen coach Roger Schmidt has confirmed the Bundesliga club's interest in Genk winger Leon Bailey.
Bailey, 19, has been linked with a host of European clubs including Manchester United after scoring four goals in six Europa League appearances for his side this term.
"He's got a lot of pace, he's technically skilled, and someone we are looking at in the long run," Schmidt told Rheinische Post on Monday. "Everything else would be derelict."
Earlier on Monday, Leverkusen CEO Michael Schade already confirmed the club's interest in Bailey when he called him a "highly interesting player" in kicker. He however rejected that Bayer have made a bid for the left-footed winger.
The Jamaica international was not called up to Genk's matchday squad against KV Kortrijk on Monday, and Belgium newspaper HLN reported that the player has a "personal agreement" with Leverkusen, who now need to decide whether they want to invest €20 million in the highly rated youngster.
"Our intention is to keep Leon." Genk CEO Patrick Janssens told Nieuwsblad. "We only want to negotiate clubs who want to sign him in the summer but at the moment there are no offers on the table even for an immediate transfer."
Bailey could succeed Germany international Julian Brandt, if the 20-year-old leaves Leverkusen in the summer.
Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.