Manchester United have come across a stumbling block in trying to sign teen sensation Leon Bailey after the Genk winger revealed that he would only be interested in a move if he had guaranteed first-team football.
Bailey, 19, has collected a string of admirers for his impressive performances for the Belgian outfit and has certainly piqued the interest of United and manager Jose Mourinho, but the nineteen-year-old is seemingly fearful of risking his career for a big move at such an early stage of his development.
The Jamaican, who is also eligible for Belgium, is a left winger but his comfortable operating on the right-hand side of the pitch.
Bailey also has an impressive strike rate scoring six goals in eighteen appearances for Genk this season, averaging a goal every three games.
The player has admitted that it is a dream of his to play in the Premier League, but he is not willing to sacrifice what he has worked hard for in Belgium unless he can have promised regular football with the Red Devils.
“I’ve always dreamt of the Premier League,” Bailey said to HLN Sport. “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.
“When I go, where I go? That is a matter for my management. From the moment that there is something concrete, we’ll sit down at the table.”
Bailey was nominated for the Golden Boy award alongside Marcus Rashford, Kingsley Coman of Bayern Munich and the winner, Renato Sanches, who also plays for the Bavarians.
It is clear the tricky speedster has a bright future in the game, but it is good to see he has a measured head in terms of making big decisions.
United may yet get their man, but Mourinho is unlikely to be willing to promise any player untested in the English top flight guaranteed action on the pitch.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.