Aston Villa Transfer News: 15-goal star wanted at Villa Park

Aston Villa target Leon Bailey celebrating

Aston Villa are leading the race to sign Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey, as revealed by Football Insider.

What's the latest transfer news involving Bailey?

Arsenal are also keen on the 23-year-old, and it has been reported that both clubs have made contact with the German outfit to gauge whether a deal will be possible.

It is understood that Villa are in pole position to land Bailey, who is valued at £31.5m by Transfermarkt.

What were Bailey's stats in 2020/21?

The Jamaican international was in top form last season in the Bundesliga, registering nine goals and nine assists when in league action. 

According to WhoScored, Bailey was Leverkusen's best player across the course of the campaign, as he received an average game rating of 7.26 - only Jack Grealish (7.56) earned a higher mark for Villa.

Bailey impressed in the Europa League as well by netting five goals in eight appearances, while he also scored once in the German Cup, meaning that he found the target on 15 occasions in all competitions in 2020/21.

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Are Villa making a habit of beating Arsenal to signings this summer?

It seems that way.

Last month, Villa beat Arsenal to the signing of Emiliano Buendia, as they paid a club-record transfer fee to secure the services of the Argentine winger. Now, they appear to have jumped ahead of Arsenal in the race to sign Bailey.

The Midlands-based club have also shown interest in signing an Arsenal player, having made two bids for Emile Smith Rowe in recent weeks. However, the 20-year-old looks set to sign a contract extension to keep him at the Emirates.

While Villa look to have missed out on landing Smith Rowe, Bailey would represent the second signing they've beaten the Gunners to this summer. In football terms, that makes it 2-1 to Villa in the transfer market.

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Are Villa going to sell Grealish?

Potentially.

It seems that Dean Smith has been aware for some time that he might lose Grealish, as it was revealed back in April that he wanted to bring in two wide forwards this summer.

Buendia has since arrived, and Bailey could follow shortly. The club appear to be willing to spend a significant amount of money at the moment, and they may need to find a way to fund their transfer dealings.

This could be where selling Grealish comes into play. The 25-year-old has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester City in recent weeks, and by allowing Grealish to leave, this could help balance the books at Villa Park, and even allow the club to continue to spend freely in the remaining weeks of the transfer window.

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