Leon Bailey has become a very familiar name in the Chelsea rumor mill over the past few years.
First linked with the Blues in 2015, when he was 17 and ostensibly on the books at AS Trencin in Slovakia, Bailey claims that Chelsea have actually been tracking him since age 14 or 15. He wound up moving to KRC Genk that summer, then switched to Leverkusen two years later, where he popped up on everyone’s radar with a dozen Bundesliga goals. This past season he’s experienced a bit of a sophomore slump — his production was cut by more than half — but at still just 21 years of age, remains a highly coveted name around Europe.
And that of course includes Chelsea, who were re-linked with the winger last week, despite the transfer ban that doesn’t appear to be lifting or freezing anytime soon. The story did get the young man’s name back in the media however — job well done, Mr. Agent. And as usual, it’s a two-for-one deal, as the agent can now deny those same rumors as well.
“He feels very well in Leverkusen. At the moment I can say: one more year in Leverkusen would be best for Leon.”
-Craig Butler; source: Bild via GGFN
Perhaps it’s reading a bit too much into the words of an agent, but the “one more year” seems fairly specific given Chelsea’s transfer ban situation. It is not inconceivable that Chelsea would be pre-negotiating for next summer’s transfer window, especially given our apparent willingness to accept the transfer ban and just take the punishment now. We reportedly tried something similar with Luka Jovic, though he ended up accepting a move to Real Madrid instead. Perhaps with Bailey, we’ll have more success?
Or, it’s just more idle speculation and agent machinations. It’s probably more this, than that ... but you never know! Bailey signed a new five-year contract with the Bundesliga team last summer.