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Bayer Leverkusen name asking price in opening move of Leon Bailey bidding war

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Sport-Club Freiburg v Bayer 04 Leverkusen - Bundesliga Photo by Simon Hofmann/Bundesliga/DFL via Getty Images

Leon Bailey, who was briefly linked with Chelsea as a teenager, is set to become one of the hottest transfer targets this summer, with all the big boys of Europe and the Premier League likely linked and vying for his signature.

The 20-year-old is in the midst of his breakout season at Bayer Leverkusen, and while he’s spoken of his “dream” to eventually play in the Premier League, neither he nor his current club are in any hurry.

Which is probably why Chelsea’s supposed €30m bid this January was easily rejected. That’s the story from SportBild (via Sport Witness) anyway, who claim that Leverkusen have set the initial asking price at a cool €50m — a not unsurprising sum in today’s market. There’s no bargain to be found here, that’s for sure.

This rumor is part of a bigger SportBild round-up of the Bundesliga’s budding stars, which links Thorgan Hazard with Leicester City, Fiete Arp with Spurs, and Christian Pulisic with Liverpool and Manchester United (that last one we’ve heard before; sadly still no Chelsea popping up in those rumors). And that likely makes most of this nothing more than idle speculation, though Bailey’s stock has certainly experienced a rather meteoric rise over the past few months and it would not be surprising to see a big team drop the necessary funds to acquire him at the end of the season.

Should Chelsea keep an eye out? Certainly. Though personally, I’d much rather have Pulisic, whatever moneys that transfer would take. As Conte said this weekend, it’s time to switch strategies from buying “wide” to buying “deep”, to spending more per player as opposed to just filling up the squad with serviceable players.