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Leverkusen's Bailey: 'Concrete interest' from clubs

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Leverkusen wary of mounting interest in Man United, Liverpool target Bailey

Leon Bailey
Leon Bailey has a growing list of suitors at Bayer Leverkusen.

Bayer Leverkusen are preparing themselves for increased interest in Manchester United and Liverpool target Leon Bailey, but squad manager Jonas Boldt insists the German club is the best place for him at this stage of his career.

Bailey, 20, starred in the weekend win over Hoffenheim, scoring with a backheel and setting up another in Leverkusen's 4-1 victory to take his tally to seven goals and six assists this season.

The winger, who joined from Genk last January, has been linked with a host of top clubs in the transfer window and Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller said: "Interest in him certainly won't decline after such a match."

The Jamaica U23 international's contract expires in 2022 but with Bayer on course to return to the Champions League next season -- the club are second, four points behind leaders Bayern Munich -- Boldt hopes Bailey will remain at the club.

"His only been here for a year. He should play for Bayer Leverkusen," he said. "There might even be a better market for him once he has played in Champions League."

Leverkusen coach Heiko Herrlich, meanwhile, praised Bailey's character, and said he could not imagine a situation similar to that of Ousmane Dembele or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who both clashed with Borussia Dortmund ahead of their moves -- or likely moves -- away from the Westfalenstadion.

"I don't think he's structured in a way that he will come up with things happening with other players at other clubs," Herrlich said.

Stephan Uersfeld is the Germany correspondent for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @uersfeld.

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