Manchester United reportedly held talks with the entourage of in-demand Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey during the January transfer window.
According to the Sports Mole, United and Bailey’s representatives discussed the terms for negotiating the player’s move to Old Trafford.
Although negotiations did not bear fruit, the Red Devils could step up their interest in the former Genk man at the end of the season.
However, the Premier League powerhouse will face fierce competition for the 23-year-old, with AC Milan, Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur all keeping an eye on Bailey.
Why Manchester United need Bailey?
Except for Bruno Fernandes, all of United’s remaining attackers have been performing in patches this season.
Often played out of position, Anthony Martial has notched up just four goals in 21 Premier League appearances this season.
The Frenchman failed to get on the scoresheet in eight of his ten league outings since the calendar flipped to 2021.
Meanwhile, it has been anything but an over-achieving season for Mason Greenwood.
The 19-year-old is a generational talent, but a tally of one goal scored in 21 top-flight games this term suggests he needs more time to adapt to the high-octane Premier League tempo.
Daniel James has been a bit-part player in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s system but has still picked up three goals in only ten league fixtures.
However, there is a genuine feeling the Norwegian manager is seeking a different profile for the supporting striker’s role.
A versatile left-footed forward capable of operating on both wings equally well is the type of player the 48-year-old has been crying out for.
Bailey enjoys an inspirational season
Bailey was dynamite down the final stretch of 2020, clocking up four goals and three assists in Leverkusen’s last seven Bundesliga matches to close the calendar year.
He has recently hit a similar stride, netting two and assisting one in his last four top-flight outings.
With nearly a half of the season left to go, the 23-year-old has already eclipsed his output for 2019/20, where he managed five goals and three assists for the entire Bundesliga campaign.
A brilliant season for Bailey includes an array of eye-catching moments, with his thunderous strike against TSG Hoffenheim the best illustration of how devastating his left foot can be.
The Jamaican would help to relieve the pressure on Fernandes and provide competition for both Rashford and Greenwood.
He possesses blistering pace and much-required football audaciousness to unlock defences and would be a fine addition to Solskjaer’s side.
Bailey’s ability to cut inside from the right-wing using his speed and acceleration bears resemblance to Dutch winger Arjen Robben.