By Wayne Veysey

23rd Jul, 2021 | 9:00am

Sources: Bayer Leverkusen respond to opening Aston Villa bid for Leon Bailey

Aston Villa have had a £30million bid for Leon Bailey rejected by Bayer Leverkusen, Football Insider understands.

The Villans entered talks with the German outfit earlier this week and have firmed up their interest with a formal offer.

However, a Villa source has told Football Insider their opening bid has been turned down by Leverkusen.

At £30million, Bailey would be Villa’s second-highest ever transfer fee after the signing of Emi Buendia.

As revealed by Football Insider (June 7th), the Midlands giants paid an initial £33million rising to £38million for the former Norwich attacker.

However, Villa may need to match or pay in excess of that to convince Leverkusen to sell Bailey this summer.

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The Jamaica international is in high demand after his fine form both domestically and on the European stage.

This site revealed on Thursday (July 22nd) Arsenal were in the hunt for his capture but pulled the plug after learning of “attitude” issues.

Those problems have not put Villa off as Dean Smith looks to bolster his attacking ranks.

As detailed by Football Insider in April, the 50-year-old made it a priority to strengthen Villa’s forward line this summer.

Bailey scored 15 goals and contributed 11 assists in 40 appearances across all competitions last season.

Aston Villa are simultaneously working on a deal to sign Todd Cantwell from Norwich.

The Villans are in advanced talks for the 23-year-old as he heads into the final year of his contract at Carrow Road.

As well as Buendia, Smith has also signed Ashley Young on a free transfer following his exit from Inter Milan.

In other news, Football Insider has dropped “huge” update on Jack Grealish’s future amid Manchester City talks.