Hope you're current on your geography because there might be a quiz at the end of this one, a modern football love story spanning two continents, five countries, and, presumably, a boatload of agents and random shakers and movers in the background.
The story begins two winters ago (or perhaps even earlier), when young Leon Bailey became the first Jamaican football player to earn an endorsement contract from Nike. Bailey was 16 at the time. Here he is, alongside (brother?) Kyle Butler and (father? agent? coach? everything?) Craig Butler on a Jamaican talk show from February 2014. Butler runs (used to run?) the Phoenix All Stars Football Academy. I'm sure he's not as much of a sleazeball in real life as he comes across in this video. Or maybe he is.
At the time, the two boys seemed set for Ajax Amsterdam, but after a trial period and plenty of work permit issues, they ended up in Slovakia instead last winter. Ajax and AS Trencin do have a sort of partnership — no idea about exact details — but the Butlers were quick to put an overly positive spin on the whole thing anyway. Other reports say that teams in Belgium were interested, too, and of course Craig Butler was always quick to talk up supposed interest from big teams.
But never mind all that drama; according to yesterday's Daily Mail, we're tracking young Leon, now 17, and considering a bid. How incredibly random! Good work, Agent Butler. Apparently we already have a plan all laid out, too, and it just might involve our rumored new partnership with Mouscron-Péruwelz in the Belgian top division.
I don't know much about Bailey (obviously) and he doesn't seem to have featured for the Trencin first team last season. He has been involved in their preseason preparations for the upcoming season, including a sweet goal against Bohemians last week (2 min. mark of this video).
So, to recap, an English team is looking to acquire a Jamaican prospect who almost played in the Netherlands but ended up in Slovakia instead. And then we'd loan him out to a Belgian side. Modern football!