Leon Bailey: Everton able to pay €25m asking price

Genk have themselves a Leon Bailey shaped problem. The Belgium club were keen to sell a star this winter, but after agreeing an early window deal with Leicester City for Wilfred Ndidi, they’d quite like to shut up shop now.

The problem is, Bailey was one of the players being pushed to market and several clubs remain linked. Everton are among those and Het Belang van Limburg name Bayer Leverkusen and AS Roma as others.

Of Leverkusen and Roma, HBVL say ‘it is unlikely that they are willing to cough up €25m for Bailey’, for Everton it’s seen as different. The Premier League money tree makes that possible, although Genk have received no offers yet.

Bailey missed training on Sunday, and after a discussion with his manager on Monday it’s been revealed he won’t play against KV Kortrijk. Genk’s Albert Stuivenberg wasn’t willing to elaborate but it’s clear the situation isn’t favourable.

Leon Bailey EvertonHBVL believe a problem with a move to England is a worry over a work permit, but if Everton paid the €25m then they should be able to amass enough points for Bailey that he’d jump the first appeals hurdle.

The bigger question is whether Everton would really want to pay that. Bailey has been hyped up hugely over the past few months, and a €25m seems to be excessive. There are other options out there for Ronald Koeman, and given that Everton are already strongly leaning on youth, there’s every chance the manager would hold back from such a move, preferring a little more experience.

Meanwhile, whether Everton make an approach or not, Genk will continue to have a ‘situation’ with 19 year old Bailey until the winter transfer window shuts. The club are counting down the days until February, and some sort of normality.