Bailey signs $1.8 billion Leverkusen deal
Jamaican winger Leon Bailey has signed a five-year deal with Bundesliga team Bayer Leverkusen just ahead of the European Winter transfer market deadline.
Reports surfaced late yesterday out of Germany and Belgium, where the Jamaican had played for Genk, that the 19 year-old was secured by the German outfit in an £11.5-million (J$1.8-billion) deal - becoming the second most expensive player ever sold by Genk.
A picture of Bailey posing with a Bayer Leverkusen jersey with the words 'Bailey 2022' in reference to the year his contract is scheduled to expire printed on the back alongside his adopted father and manager Craig Butler as well as club officials made the rounds on social media late yesterday ahead of Leverkusen's expected confirmation.
Bailey rose to prominence at Genk after impressive performances in the Belgian domestic competition as well as the UEFA Europa League. He scored 15 goals and provided 21 assists in his 77 league games for Genk, adding seven goals and three assists in 12 European fixtures.
He is, however, yet to secure his first cap for the Jamaican senior football team.
He becomes the latest noted player sold by Genk following the departure of now-established players such as Crystal Palace's Christian Benteke, Chelsea's Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne (Manchester City) and Kalidou Koulibaly (Napoli).
Bayer Leverkusen, which finished third in last season's Bundesliga have been one of the better performing teams in the competition in recent years and boast talents such as Javier Hernandez, Kevin Kampl, Karim Bellarabi as well as Hakan Calhanoglu.