PICTURED: Leon Bailey
LEON BAILEY could soon be plying his trade in the Italian capital with AS Roma, claim Sportitalia.
The Italian television channel are adamant that the club are in on-going talks with the Bayer Leverkusen midfielder, who recently made his long overdue debut for Jamaica in the CONCACAF Gold Cup.
Sportitalia have reported his German club have demanded between €10 to €15 million (£8.98m-£13.47m) for the 21-year-old whizzy winger plus Czech Republic striker Patrik Schick.
However, the stumbling block for the Italian giants is that fact that they have to give Serie A rivals Sampdoria half of any transfer fee for 23-year-old Schick if he is sold before February 1 next year. And they also have to put a figure on Bailey’s value, which is around the £40m mark, to top up the monies that they will have to shell out for Schick.
Bailey, whose season ground to a halt because of a hamstring injury, returned to action for Jamaica. But he was a shadow of the player lauded until their Gold Cup semi-final defeat at the hands of eventual champions the United States.
His stepfather and agent blasted back at the strong criticism about his protégé, stating that Bailey didn’t get the service he demanded because the rest of Jamaica’s Reggae Boyz couldn’t initially cope with his speed and style of play.
His muted performances have not stopped the midfield maestro from being a realistic top target for leading European clubs. Bailey previously turned down Chelsea, who are waiting for their transfer ban to be lifted before a second approach. But it is German champions Bayern Munich that appears to be his most likely destination should he make a move.
AS Roma, who in recent years have been involved in a two-horse race with perennial champions Juventus, are on a mission to replace the Italian international Stephan El Shaarawy. The left winger was snapped up by Chinese Super League side Shanghai Shenhua this summer and has left a notable gap.
With Schick having suffered injury problems and now lacking in confidence, the Giallorossi may well go for the player plus cash deal proposed by Leverkusen.
Bailey was on holiday in his homeland last week, soaking up the Caribbean sunshine, but this week kicks off his pre-season at his club’s training camp in the Austrian town of Zell am See near Saltzburg (Jul 15-21).
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