Report: Everton eye 19-year-old playmaker, rivals prepare £20m bid
By Dominic Toner
Everton are interested in Genk playmaker Leon Bailey, according to a report.
The Mail claim that the Toffees are one of four Premier League sides eyeing the 19-year-old, with Liverpool, Chelsea and Bournemouth also registering an interest.
The report details that European clubs Roma and Bayer Leverkusen are prepared to launch £20million bids for the attacker and that could prompt the English sides to make a move in January.
It is understood that the Premier League teams were not expected to move until the summer, but now fear missing out on the highly rated youngster.
The Mail report the Genk are keen to keep hold of Bailey, but would consider an offer where he stays with them before leaving ahead of next season.
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Bailey is currently playing for Belgian side Genk and has been influential for them this season.
The Jamaican can be deployed on either wing and is blessed with phenomenal pace.
He has made 34 appearances this season across all competitions, scoring eight goals and supplying 10 assists.
Bailey has been one of the standout performers in the Belgian top-flight and his display are even more impressive given he is playing for mid-table side Genk.
Football Insider verdict:
Everton should prepare a bid for the highly rated youngster, who is clearly attracting some of Europe’s top clubs. The 19-year-old would fit into the youth policy at Goodison Park as manager Ronald Koeman builds a team for the future. Everton youngster Tom Davies, Mason Holgate and Ademola Lookman are breaking into the first-team and there could be a place for Bailey at the Merseyside club. Bailey has impressive stats this season in the Belgian League and is only going to improve at his young age. He has shown he can provide both goals and assists, something that would be a great asses to Everton. The Toffees do have wide men Aaaron Lennon, Kevin Mirallas, Gerard Deulofeu at the club, but are lacking in that position following the injury to Yannick Bolasie.
In other Everton transfer news, the club have made a decision on a £31m-rated forward.