Manchester United are hot on the trail of Genk striker Leon Bailey. According to the Daily Mail, the teenager would cost United around £20m.
Bailey has emerged as one of the most promising young players in Europe. Since making his debut for Genk in 2014, the teenager has grabbed the attention of a host of top clubs with United leading the way.
Jose Mourinho could swoop for the young attacker as he looks to turn his side’s fortunes around with goals proving hard to come by in the Premier League.
However, Bailey won’t be cheap. United know that coercing the Belgian outfit into selling the youngster won’t come cheap. The player himself also needs convincing that it would be a good move. Speaking to Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, the young striker said:
“I’ve always dreamt of the Premier League. But if, let’s say, Man United can’t guarantee me minutes, I will stay at Genk.
“The important thing is that in the near future there a lot of games to come. This is essential for me because I have to take more steps. I’ve already made a lot of progress.”
That won’t deter United and the £20m price tag may spur them into action. United are not scared to invest heavily in youth as the purchases of Anthony Martial and Paul Pogba proved.
It might be a good time for Bailey to move to Old Trafford. With Zlatan and Rooney close to calling time on their United careers, a season of adjustment is enticing. It allows him to learn the nuances of the English game while the weight of expectation falls on the shoulders of experienced professionals.
Had Anthony Martial or Marcus Rashford that option, they may not be struggling this season.
The question the United hierarchy will most want an answer to is whether the club can afford to wait a year for a player.