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Bayer Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey said he is ‘ready for the next step’ as Aston Villa, Everton and Southampton look to lure the winger to the Premier League, while speaking to ESPN

It has become something of an annual tradition around these parts. 

Every summer, Bailey is linked with a big-money move to England but it seems that, this time around, his dream will become a reality at last.

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Bailey’s stepfather/agent confirmed to BILD earlier this week that Aston Villa had held talks with the jet-heeled Jamaican international.

Villa are understood to have launched a £25 million bid, although Leverkusen are refusing to budge on their £30 million valuation for a man who contributed 15 goals and 11 assists during a career-best 2020/21 campaign. 

Dean Smith will not have a clear run at their top target, however, with Everton, Southampton and Wolverhampton Wanderers also reported to be interested (90Min). 

Where Bailey ends up next is anyone’s guess. What is clear, however, is that he fancies a new challenge after four years at the Bay Arena. 

Will Aston Villa win the race for Leverkusen’s Leon Bailey?

“I’ve worked hard and I feel like I’m at an age, at a time in my life, where I’m ready for the next step,” said a man who made his name as a youngster at Genk. 

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Bailey was valued at a staggering £85 million as recently as last summer. 

Due to a combination of the COVID-19 crisis and the fact that he has just two years left on his contract, it seems that the quicksilver winger is available for a far lower fee these days.  

Bayer Leverkusen have already sold one winger to a Premier League club this summer, former Leicester flyer Demarai Gray joining Everton for a minor fee earlier this month. 

Aston Villa, meanwhile, have already broken their transfer record once since the start of the summer with Emi Buendia arriving from Norwich City. They may have to do so again for Bailey. 

Photo by Chloe Knott – Danehouse/Getty Images

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