Leverkusen winger reveals four Prem clubs who wanted him

Matt Stead

Leon Bailey has revealed the four Premier League clubs he has rejected throughout his career.

Bayer Leverkusen winger Bailey has long been linked with a move to England, even as part of Gareth Southgate’s international set-up.

Having impressed with Genk in Belgium, he joined Leverkusen in January 2017 and scored 12 goals in his first 18 months in Germany.

But his career has since stalled somewhat, and he has netted just once in 14 appearances this season.

Interest from afar has thus waned, and Bailey admits he is “still learning”.

“Chelsea have been interested in me since I was maybe 14 or 15, but as a young player you want to start on a normal level and not just go there because of the name of the club,” he told FourFourTwo.

“You want to develop in the right environment; around the right minds and mentality. Genk was right for me at that moment – I fitted right into the youth system perfectly. That’s where I wanted to start, so I went for it.

“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.”