A report claims Aston Villa are now clear to try and sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey after Arsenal opted not to pursue their interest due to concerns over the player.
Villa and the Gunners have both been heavily linked with a move for the Jamaica international. And it was reported on Wednesday that the West Midlanders had nudged ahead of the Gunners. It would be the second time that the Villans had outdone the north Londoners after landing Emiliano Buendia from Norwich.
Bailey, 23, has become hot property after his displays in the Bundesliga. With pace to burn out wide, he was watched by a number of Premier League clubs last season.
Among those said to be interested were Manchester United, Tottenham, Arsenal and Everton. But it is the Villa Park outfit that seem to be at the front of the queue for his signature.
Whether that is by default is open to question but, according to Football Insider, Arsenal have pulled out of the race. Reports claim that the capital club have been made aware of “attitude” issues surrounding the former Genk star.
There are no exact details on what the problems might be but it is enough for Mikel Arteta to look elsewhere. After last season’s woes, the Spanish tactician is looking for creative players who can make a difference.
Bailey seems to fit the bill, with an ability to play anywhere across the front line. But they have done due diligence and unearthed a trait that means he will not be arriving at the Emirates.
Bailey the right for fit for Smith revolution
Villa finished 11th in the Premier League last season and were always comfortably out of the relegation issues. Indeed, they sat fifth at the end of December before ending up in mid table.
Smith is hoping for better things in 2021-2022, with Buendia an exciting capture. And the addition of Baily would mean the manager had plenty of attacking options at his disposal.
The Kingston-born speedster is more of a provider than goalscorer but upped his production last term. He bagged nine league goals and 15 in all competitions as Leverkusen finished sixth in the German top flight.
Ollie Watkins will be licking his lips at the prospect of the flying youngster in the ranks. The 25-year-old managed 14 Premier League goals but will hope to eclipse that mark in the upcoming campaign.