Leon Bailey admits he turned down interest from Liverpool and a number of Premier League sides prior to his move to Bayer Leverkusen.
The winger has emerged as one of the top prospects in European football thanks to his lasting impression since arriving in the Bundesliga.
Bailey scored 12 goals across all competitions last season as well as registering six assists as Leverkusen made it to the semi-finals of the German Cup and finished fifth in the league table.
Such has been his impact since signing from Genk that Bailey was reportedly the subject of a €60million from Bayern Munich during the summer amid the club’s efforts to revamp its ageing attacking ranks.
The 21-year-old has also attracted interested from England’s top six and was identified as a transfer target for both Liverpool and Manchester City earlier this year.
Discussing his reasoning for choosing Leverkusen in 2017, the Jamaican told FourFourTwo: “Manchester United, City, Chelsea, Liverpool – a lot of clubs were interested. But the most important thing as a pro is taking things a step at a time and not rushing to the top too quickly. Because once you get there, where do you go next?”
🇯🇲 Leon Bailey's Bundesliga 17/18:
👌 30 appearances
💪 Nine goals
🎯 Six assists
⭐ Four MotM awards
🔥 Talent pic.twitter.com/URZUq4Cl9C
— Sky Sports FF (@SkyFantasyFooty) August 6, 2018
He added: “I believe the right timing is important, and it was the right moment to be at Bayer Leverkusen. They are a tremendous club with so much history.”A lot of good players have come from there; they can get into the Champions League and are always doing well. So why not them? It was the perfect move for me and I’m happy I made it.”
“My focus isn’t really on moving anywhere yet.”
Bailey was joined by Malcom, who eventually joined Barcelona from Bordeaux, and Borussia Dortmund’s Christian Pulisic on a shortlist of Liverpool targets revealed by the Daily Mail during the summer.
Whilst there may well be admiration from the Reds’ side, any attacking recruitment in the near future is more likely to entail the addition of a new no.10.
That said, it would come as no surprise were Bailey to be plying his trade in England by this time next year.