Aston Villa eye Leon Bailey transfer as Dean Smith believes £25m speedster is a budget Jadon Sancho

DEAN SMITH is keen on Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey and sees him as Aston Villa's sensibly-priced alternative to Jadon Sancho.

The Jamaican international rivalled Sancho's goal scoring and assist ratio in the Bundesliga last season, scoring nine goals and providing eight assists – to Sancho's eight goals and 11 assists.


But crucially Villa believe they could land the 23-year-old Leverkusen ace for £25million – around a third of the £72.9million Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has agreed to sign England winger Sancho for Manchester United.

Smith wants to add firepower to lessen the creative load on skipper Jack Grealish next season and has already splashed out a club-record £35million on Norwich City playmaker Emiliano Buendia.

Former England and Old Trafford wideman Ashley Young, 36, has rejoined from Inter Milan.

But Smith is keen to add Bailey to his attacking arsenal after the former Genk forward averaged a goal every 239 minutes – bettering Sancho's goal every 259 minutes for Dortmund.

In all, Bailey racked up 15 goals and 11 assists in his 40 games for Leverkusen last term.

With Ross Barkley's loan deal over and winger Trezeguet recovering from surgery on his knee, Smith is weighing up a realistic bid for Bailey, who was also involved in seven of Leverkusen's goals in Europe.  

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The winger has two years left on his current deal but Leverkusen could be tempted to cash in on their frontman to strengthen their defence as they hope to land Liverpool's Nat Phillips this summer.

Villa have also made two offers for Arsenal's Emile Smith Rowe.

Other midfielders linked with Villa Park include Southampton captain James Ward-Prowse and Tottenham's Harry Winks, who both missed out on England's Euro 2020 squad.

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