Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish could leave his boyhood club for a record Premier League transfer fee this summer.
Manchester City are determined to land Grealish’s signature in the coming days after the England international returned from holiday last week.
City are “growing increasingly confident” of signing Grealish, according to the Daily Star, but new Villa signing Leon Bailey has been in this position before.
The Jamaican winger was linked with a move to the Etihad last summer and was said to have been identified as Leroy Sane’s replacement.
According to the Daily Mail, Pep Guardiola was set to make a move Bailey in order to fill the gap left by Sane after he left City for Bayern Munich in 2020.
Though, after breaking onto the European scene as an exciting winger in Belgium, Bailey first rejected City back in 2017.
Bailey won Belgium’s Young Professional of the Year award a year before moving to Leverkusen from K.R.C. Genk in January 2017.
“Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool – a lot of clubs were interested,” Bailey told FourFourTwo back in 2018.
However, it was Leverkusen who eventually landed Bailey, with the player outlining that it was the ‘environment’ of the club that beat City to his signature.
“You want to develop in the right environment; around the right minds and mentality,” he added.
“[Leverkusen] are a tremendous club with so much history,” he said. “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.”
Bailey is expected to join up with Dean Smith’s squad before the Villa host Sevilla for a final pre-season friendly this coming Saturday, before the new Premier League campaign kicks off a week later.
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