Kai Havertz was dubbed the 'Crown Prince of German football' while at Bayer Leverkusen but the Bundesliga club have a new star now: Florian Wirtz.  

While his former club colleague has struggled so far to make an impact at Chelsea, Wirtz - the latest young gem to come through at Leverkusen - is dazzling for Peter Bosz's team, who remain ensconced in the top four despite defeats either side of the mid-season break in Germany's top flight. 

The 17-year-old did not wait long to suggest he could be the heir apparent, either. Having made his debut in May 2020, he became the youngest goalscorer in Bundesliga history the following month, finding the net in a 4-2 defeat to Bayern Munich after coming on as a substitute. Youssoufa Moukoko has since snatched that record away.

This season, Wirtz has gone from the periphery to centre stage, scoring twice and providing four assists in 13 appearances. His transition from promising talent to first-team regular has been swift, leading to comparisons to Havertz, the playmaker who swapped the BayArena for Stamford Bridge.

However, for Bosz, while both players have huge potential, the duo differ in so many ways.

"I never compare players with each other because that is impossible. There is no player like the other," Bosz told Stats Perform News. "You can't compare them. That's not possible.

"I also won't do that with Florian Wirtz, because he has his own style. He is different from Kai Havertz, who is more of a striker. Florian Wirtz, as far as I am concerned, is a midfielder, so you can't compare them.

"Also, you can't compare them physically; Kai is 1.92metres (6ft 3in), Florian is shorter. One is left-footed, the other one right-footed. They both have their own style. But both of them are very good. Both are very talented. Both have a huge career ahead of them.

"And Florian is only 17 years old. What he has shown though in the Bundesliga already is something special."

Wirtz has been a part of a Leverkusen squad that has impressed so far in this campaign, both at home and abroad. 

Despite a first defeat to Bayern Munich before the mid-season pause in Germany, Leverkusen gathered 28 points from their opening 13 league games. Only three times have they managed to collect more points across the same period - and on each of those occasions they went on to finish in the top four.

In the Europa League, Die Werkself finished top of Group C to qualify for the last 32 in style, winning five of their six round-robin fixtures. Having reached the quarter-final stage of the competition last year, when they lost 2-1 to Inter, hopes are high they can go further this time around. 

But while there has been much to please Bosz and Leverkusen's supporters so far, the Dutch coach insists there is still plenty more to come from his squad.

"Everyone still has some space to improve," he said, insisting no player has reached a nine out of 10 yet. "The difference to last year is that we are very consistent now.

"We deliver stable performances. It means that we concede less goals. We stand more compact on the pitch.  

"But we have also lost important players. Kai Havertz went to Chelsea, Kevin Volland to Monaco. I think that our team spirit has improved. This is the biggest step ahead." 

Despite Havertz no longer being around, Leverkusen have been excellent going forward, with champions Bayern the only team to score more in the Bundesliga so far. Their attacking intent has not come at a considerable cost defensively either - only second-placed RB Leipzig have conceded fewer goals.

The emergence of Wirtz has been one of the factors in helping Leverkusen continue to progress as a club, even with those key departures in the previous transfer window.

 

"He's a very talented young player. He has a lot more to improve. But, you know, he's only 17," Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey told Stats Perform News about his talented young team-mate.

"He's still learning. But he has a lot of qualities that a lot of older players don't have yet. And that's something you can see clearly, and this is something that's special. 

"And I think, as the years go by, he will only get better. There is a lot more to come from him, as he understands more and get a lot more experience.  

"I would say he's very smart. He has a lot of quality when he's on the ball. And he has a great passing ability."

Bailey's assessment is backed up by Wirtz's output, with no Leverkusen player having created more chances from open play than his tally of 23. While his passing accuracy is perhaps lower than might be hoped for at 73 per cent, his touches in the opposing box (31) and passes into the final third (55) are examples of his forward thinking when in possession. 

Those risks have reaped their rewards this term too, considering his six goal contributions so far. Bosz clearly has faith in him, as only goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky and Moussa Diaby have played more minutes in the Bundesliga so far. 

Any suggestion of becoming the new Havertz may be wide of the mark, but the future looks bright for Wirtz, the latest jewel to emerge at Leverkusen. 

Jamaica international and rising Bayer Leverkusen star Leon Bailey has signed with UK-based sports agency Unique Sports Management (USM) who has in turn partnered with local-based Phoenix Sports Management (PSM), which is managed by his adoptive father Craig Butler.

Under the arrangement, Bailey seems set to continue being managed by Butler.  On one hand, the move could give the red-hot winger an inside track to fulfilling his dream of playing in the English Premier League, and on the other, it is hoped that it could also open doors for other players currently managed by Butler’s PSM.

USM currently has the likes of Manchester United's Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Chelsea's Reece James, West Ham talisman Michail Antonio and Newcastle's star striker Callum Wilson listed among its clientele.

Bailey has been in red-hot form for the German club this season, in total scoring 9 goals and providing 6 assists in 18 matches.  As such, the player is back on the radar of several major clubs, including quite a few in England.

Ahead of the January transfer window, however, USM agent Mike Appiason has indicated that the player is very likely to stay put.

“Leon is a fantastic player with an even better story.  He is having a fantastic season so far as are Leverkusen. No doubt he will have many takers but for now, his focus remains solely on helping Leverkusen finish the season as strongly as possible,” Appiason told SportsMail.

For his part, Butler was pleased with the move, which he hailed as a step in the right direction for both Bailey and USM.

“Collaborations are the order of the day to maximise opportunities. Having an honest, hardworking, and experienced team in England is key to our long-term plan for Leon and the plethora of super-talented players we have coming through the Phoenix All Stars Football Academy from all over the Caribbean so we chose to partner with Mike and his team at USM,” Butler said.

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has come in for some commendation from Bayern Leverkusen coach Peter Bosz after a string of strong performances from the Bundesliga club.

The 23-year-old has settled down well to life at the German club after missing the start of the season, due to enforced quarantine measures in his home country.  Since returning to the line-up, however, Bailey has shown solid form.  Not only has he proven to be elusive for defenders but he has also managed to notch four assists.  Two coming in the team's last two wins.

With a good portion of the previous season impacted by injury and indifferent form, the player will be happy to be rounding back into the form that saw him labelled as one of Europe’s brightest prospects.

"Well, Leon had it very difficult, last year and at the beginning of this season. But I can see that he gets better every game, physically but also in terms of football,” Bosz said.

"When you see how much he runs, but also how much he sprints and the quality of his football game, that always goes up. Last game in Nice the first goal he set-up for Nadiem Amiri was really great. And he played well today too. He improves every game. "

The future of Jamaica international Leon Bailey, at German Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, continues to be shrouded in doubt, as he faces a late start to the season and constant speculation.

The Bundesliga club will kick off its new campaign away to Eintracht Norderstedt in the DFB Pokal on Sunday.  Bailey will, however, miss the fixture after being required to undergo mandatory quarantine in Jamaica after possible exposure to the coronavirus.

On Friday, the club’s head coach Peter Bosz confirmed the player was yet to rejoin the group and that his reintroduction to the team would be on a stage by stage basis.

 “The quarantine is over; Leon was tested today. We expect it to be negative, then he can fly, but we have to wait for the result. When will he be available again? I first have to see what shape he's in when he's here and can be at 100 percent,” the club’s head coach told Bild.

In all likelihood, the team’s Bundesliga start, on September 20, in Wolfsburg is also likely to come too early for Bailey.  In fact, it remains to be seen whether he will ever represent Leverkusen again. His name is constantly mentioned on the transfer market, and Bayer has confirmed they would let him go if the offer was right.  He has recently been linked to English Premier League (EPL) club Leeds United.

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey is set to miss the start of pre-season training for Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen, after being faced with self-isolation orders due to possible exposure to the coronavirus.

The 23-year-old winger was among several prominent Jamaican sports stars in attendance at a birthday part for track and field legend Usain Bolt.  In short clips of the event posted to various social media outlets none of the athletes seemed to be practicing social distancing or donning masks.

Questions were also raised as to whether several of the players in attendance were not in violation of the two-week mandatory quarantine regulation required for those entering the country.  Jamaica has had a recent surge in COVID cases.

On Monday, Bolt tested positive for the coronavirus forcing others at the party to isolate this week.  On Thursday Leverkusen announced that the player was stopped from leaving the island by local authorities, who insisted the player observe the quarantine period.

The club is expected to begin testing players for preseason camp on Friday, with players requiring two negative tests before joining up with the squad.

Bailey will now not return to Germany until before their first competitive match of the season in a German Cup clash against minor league club Eintracht Norderstedt on September 13.

 

Athletics legend Usain Bolt should be held responsible for his behaviour after he tested positive for COVID-19, days after he was spotted with patrons sans social distancing and masks, for his surprise birthday party.

Leon Bailey is a talent but that talent is not on display often enough.

That seems to be the view of  Bayer Leverkusen boss Rudi Völler who believes the 23-year-old Jamaican is not consistent enough.

Two seasons ago, Bailey brought his exciting talents to the fore scoring 12 goals to go along with six assists in 32 appearances for Leverkusen. However, since then Bailey has struggled to hold a place in the starting XI and subsequently fell down the pecking order at the club.

The malaise has not gone unnoticed.

"You can see that he's blessed with quality, but he has lacked continuity. It's also clear that he has to do a bit more," said Völler, whose sentiments were echoed by Sporting Director Simon Rolfes.

"You get the feeling with him that he wants to force things. He doesn't seem to be playing with the same looseness, freedom and intuitive as in his first season," Rolfes said.

The Jamaican international, whose contract expires in 2023, scored seven goals and made three assists in 33 games for Leverkusen in the 2019/20 season.

He has been linked with a move to the English Premier League.

 

 

 

Jamaica international Leon Bailey has been told he will be allowed to leave Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen during the summer transfer window if the price is right.

The 22-year-old winger was routinely listed among the most coveted targets during the previous two transfer windows.  However, a stop-start kind of season, due to recent injury, has removed some of that lustre and plunged the player’s transfer value as well.  The player has, however, in recent times been linked with a number of English Premier League clubs, Manchester United, Liverpool and Chelsea, and most recently Everton and Tottenham.

Aidy Ward, the player's new agent, has revealed that he is prepared to hold talks with the club concerning the Jamaican’s future.

"The club has told his stepfather that he can leave for a certain amount of money," Ward told Sport1.

"As soon as I have talked to the club, and the situation is clear, we will now know to do. If the club wants to sell, it's no problem. Then we'll talk to each other and come to an agreement,” he added.

“If they don't want to sell, it's no problem either. In this case, we'll leave the situation and move on. It's that simple.”

Manchester City are already planning for life without Leroy Sane.

Although there remains a chance the Germany winger could see out a contract running until June 2021 at the Etihad Stadium, Pep Guardiola's announcement on Friday that Sane will not sign a new deal means a long-mooted exit to Bayern Munich is likely to be imminent.

A key performer as City claimed back-to-back Premier League titles in 2017-18 and 2018-19 is on the way out and speculation will mount over who Guardiola will pursue to bolster his attack.

The City manager has suggested he could simply operate with the forward options he has, as has been the case this season due to Sane's cruciate knee ligament injury.

However, the near-surrender of their domestic crown to Liverpool in his absence tells its own story, while the decision not to secure a specialist replacement for departing captain Vincent Kompany last year might weigh heavily upon the prospect of a similar route being taken.

The twin factors of the coronavirus pandemic's expected economic impact on football and City's two-season Champions League ban, which is currently under appeal at the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS), could also influence whether any of the names listed below can be brought to Manchester.

MIKEL OYARZABAL

Real Sociedad star Oyarzabal hit double figures for league goals in both of the past two seasons, netting 12 in 2017-18 and 13 in 2018-19 – outstripping the 10 Sane netted in each campaign.

Naturally left footed and, unlike City attackers Bernardo Silva and Riyad Mahrez, at home operating on that flank, the 23-year-old has nine this time around. A €75million release clause means he fits the model of signing up-and-coming LaLiga stars with sensible valuations in their contracts that saw Aymeric Laporte and Rodri end up at Eastlands.

LEON BAILEY

Livewire Bayer Leverkusen winger Bailey was first linked to City in 2018, when Guardiola ultimately plumped for Mahrez to bolster a title-winning forward line. The Jamaica international's output has dwindled since – scoring five times in each of the past two seasons and supplying a total of four assists. In 2017-18 he boasted nine goals and laid on a further six.

Bailey's considerable natural gifts – electric pace, excellent one-against-one dribbling and a sweet left foot – means he retains admirers and, as a stylistic fit for replacing Sane, Guardiola might consider the 22-year-old to be a diamond worth polishing.

FERRAN TORRES

Torres, who turned 20 in February, has enjoyed a stunning breakout campaign at Valencia after starring in Spain's European Under-19 Championship triumph last year. He scored both goals in the final win over Portugal after dispatching the decisive penalty in the shoot-out to see off semi-final opponents France.

Super Deporte reported last month that Torres heads the list of possible Sane heirs compiled by City's director of football Txiki Begiristain. A skilful and direct winger capable of operating on either flank, his big move is probably a matter of when rather than if.

KINGSLEY COMAN

Guardiola's declaration and Sane's contract situation mean Bayern might sniff an opportunity to get their man on the cheap. A gruelling round of negotiations could await both parties and Coman would certainly have value as a makeweight in the deal.

Familiar with Guardiola's methods having played for his Bayern side, the France international generally attempts dribbles (6.4 per 90 minutes this term, 8.9 in 2015-16 under Guardiola) more frequently than Sane, whose direct approach has been missed by City this year. However, the 24-year-old's persistent injury woes would be a major concern.

JADON SANCHO

From the over-arching CAS situation to Sancho's fractious departure from City in 2017, there are plenty of good reasons to assume the hottest property on the European transfer market is far more likely to end up on the other side of Manchester. However, City retain a "matching right" on Sancho – meaning Borussia Dortmund must inform them of any bid received – and must be tempted to try their hand.

The England star, 20, boasts a staggering 33 goal involvements (17 goals, 16 assists) in 31 Bundesliga games this season, dwarfing an impressive 26 (12 goals, 14 assists) from last time around. City have tended not to get involved in astronomical one-off deals – Rodri, at £62.8m, is their record buy – but Sancho presents a case that demands they make an exception.

ADAMA TRAORE

"It was always clear it would happen one day, and now it has," Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp observed earlier this season as Traore shifted rapidly from frustrating potential to a player wrecking defences across England on Wolves' behalf. Despite being a graduate of Barcelona's academy, the powerhouse wideman's seemingly off-the-cuff style could frustrate Guardiola as much as it delights.

But added precision to his play means the 24-year-old is now one of the most dangerous attackers in the Premier League. Three of his four goals this season came in wins over City, a wonderful assist for Raul Jimenez in Saturday's win at West Ham was his eighth this term and his dribbling output of 9.1 per 90 minutes is relentless.

Manchester United are said to be ready to turn their attention to Bayer Leverkusen Jamaica international Leon Bailey, if deals for two main targets, Borussia Dortmund's Jadon Sancho and Aston Villa's Jack Grealish, fail to materialize.

United head coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is reported to be keen on adding an attacking midfielder to his ranks ahead of next season, but the uncertainty of the coronavirus market and expense of Grealish and Sancho could make the Jamaican a more attractive prospect.

Bailey has had a stop-start kind of season, halted by injury and other issues, for Leverkusen after an eye-catching introduction to German football two seasons ago.  While the player remains sought after in the market, some believe his price tag now falls in the £40 million range.  This could make the player a more palatable option than Sancho and Grealish who are likely to eclipse the £100 million mark.

Bailey signed for Leverkusen from Belgian side Genk in 2017.  He's made 110 appearances across all competitions for the club, scoring 24 times.  His best campaign came in 2017-18 when he netted nine goals and provided six assists.   

In 19 Bundesliga appearances this season, Bailey has five goals.  The player has, however, lost his regular spot in the starting lineup under coach Peter Bosz.  He has three years remaining on his current contract.

Internationally, Bailey made his senior debut for the Reggae Boyz in 2019 and has been capped six times.

 

 

Manchester United know what they will need to pay for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish, and they may look elsewhere.

Grealish has been linked with a move to Old Trafford after an impressive campaign with Villa.

However, United could opt for a cheaper alternative.

 

TOP STORY – VILLA WANT £80M FOR MAN UTD TARGET GREALISH

Aston Villa want at least £80million for Jack Grealish amid links to Manchester United, according to the Daily Mail.

The report says Villa also have hope of keeping the attacker if they can avoid Premier League relegation.

Grealish, 24, has scored seven goals and provided six assists in 26 Premier League games this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- Could Manchester United look elsewhere? The Sun reports United are eyeing Bayer Leverkusen forward Leon Bailey as a cheaper alternative to Grealish and Borussia Dortmund star Jadon Sancho.

- Staying at Old Trafford and France Football claims Manchester United have made contact with Willian, who is coming out of contract at Chelsea.

- Miralem Pjanic's Juventus future seems unclear. Sport reports the midfielder is moving away from the Serie A club amid links to Barcelona and Chelsea.

- Perhaps Juventus and Chelsea could be set for a swap deal. The Sun says Chelsea are set to be offered Adrien Rabiot and Federico Bernardeschi for Jorginho and Marcos Alonso.

- Another player who has been linked to Manchester United is Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham. However, BILD reports Borussia Dortmund have reached an agreement with the 16-year-old midfielder, but are having problems with the transfer fee.

- On loan at Borussia Dortmund since 2018, Achraf Hakimi is due to return to Real Madrid. However, AS reports Bayern Munich are eager to sign the full-back and are willing to offer a sizeable transfer fee and salary.

Bayer Leverkusen head coach Peter Bosz said Kai Havertz is "fine" after the in-form star suffered a late injury in Friday's victory over Freiburg.

Havertz scored the winning goal as Leverkusen moved up to third in the Bundesliga by edging Freiburg 1-0 away from home.

The in-demand Germany international, who made it five goals in four games since the coronavirus-enforced break ended this month, hobbled off just past the hour with a knock but Bosz allayed the injury concerns.

"He is fine. I don't know how bad it is, but I think he's gonna be okay," Bosz said after the match.

It was a record-breaking outing for Havertz, who has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid, Liverpool, Bayern Munich and Manchester United.

The 20-year-old midfielder scored his 35th Bundesliga goal, making him the first player under the age of 21 to reach that total.

"I'm very happy for him, of course," Leverkusen team-mate Leon Bailey told bundesliga.com. "He's very, very talented - I think we all know that."

"For him to be able to be doing that gives young players a vision," Bailey added. "Anything is possible once you work hard. I think Kai Havertz is a very hardworking player.

"He's smart, and very intelligent on the pitch. I hope he continues to do this and help the team as much as possible because we need him."

 

Manchester City look set to have to fill a void in their squad.

Germany international Leroy Sane is tipped to swap City for Bayern Munich.

And Leon Bailey has reportedly emerged as a target for City.

 

TOP STORY – SANE OUT, BAILEY IN AT CITY?

Manchester City are targeting Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey as a replacement for Leroy Sane, according to the Daily Mail.

Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich are hoping to sign City star Sane in the off-season.

Should Sane complete his return to Germany, Bailey has been identified by Pep Guardiola's City.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tuttosport claims Juventus have warned Paul Pogba he will have to accept a drastic cut to his salary if the Manchester United star is to return to the Serie A champions. Pogba has been linked with former club Juve and LaLiga giants Real Madrid. The Red Devils have reportedly re-opened the door to Juve over a possible deal.

Luka Jovic wants to stay at the Santiago Bernabeu and turn things around with Madrid, reports Marca. The Serbia forward, who has struggled since arriving from Eintracht Frankfurt, has emerged as a target for Milan.

- Napoli striker Arkadiusz Milik is pushing for a move to Juve, says Calciomercato. The Poland international is a free agent in 2021 and is valued at €40million by Napoli, though he is hoping to lower the club's demands.

Juve are desperately trying to convince Arthur to leave Barcelona for Turin, according to Mundo Deportivo. Juve want Arthur to replace Miralem Pjanic, who is reportedly close to swapping clubs.

- Onda Cero says Barca could recall Philippe Coutinho from his loan spell at Bayern. With Bayern opting not to exercise their option to purchase Coutinho, the Brazilian could find himself back at Camp Nou ahead of LaLiga's proposed resumption.

Inter have been in contact with Edinson Cavani's entourage over a move to San Siro, says Calciomercato. Paris Saint-Germain forward Cavani is coming out of contract and could replace Inter star Lautaro Martinez, who is wanted by Barca.

- The Daily Mail claims Barca will listen to loan offers for Ousmane Dembele. The injury-prone Frenchman has previously been linked to PSG, Juve, Arsenal, United and Liverpool.

The agent of Bayer Leverkusen star, Leon Bailey, has reacted angrily to statements made by the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) in response to comments made by his player on Instagram.

Earlier this week, JFF president, Michael Ricketts, and his general secretary, Dalton Wint, indicated anger at comments the player made suggesting the organization would be at fault if the Reggae Boyz were not at the next World Cup in Qatar.

The JFF was also displeased with Bailey’s criticism of Reggae Boyz coach, Theodore Whitmore.

Bailey had suggested that Whitmore’s squad rotation policy was counterproductive and didn’t engender the building of chemistry among players.

According to Butler, Bailey’s comments were made to a friend talking to him about his life, suggesting that the player was free to have an opinion in his private capacity.

Both Wint and Ricketts had suggested that there were contractual obligations that the player had that would make his comments out of order but Butler has refuted this as well, saying while Bailey has been playing for Jamaica, there is no contract between him and the JFF.

Wint had said he would be issuing a cease and desist order on the player in a bid to show the JFF would not be tolerating that kind of behaviour but Butler has said the organization has no legal standing to issue such an order given that the two entities have no contract.

“We as the management of Leon Bailey had sought a contractual agreement with the Jamaica Football Federation with the player. In this way, the player would be entitled to know what is and is not expected or allowed by the JFF and our client would be also aware of what to expect as compensation for his services.

“To date, our client has not been provided a contract to agree or not agree to,” read a statement from Phoenix Sports Management on Butler’s Facebook page.

“Article 3 of the Fifa statutes address the right to freedom of speech and also the responsibility of officials to ensure that freedom of speech and expression is not compromised,” read the statement.

Butler also went on to say Bailey’s statements were right on the money with the JFF being directly responsible for the success or failure of its senior unit given that it was in charge of team selection.

“He [Bailey] lay the responsibility for success or failure directly at the feet of those ultimately responsible for selection, team management and business negotiations. The Jamaica Football Federation

There can be no Authority without Responsibility,” the statement read.

“Nothing in Bailey's verbiage was libellous or inaccurate,” it went on.

Butler went on to speak about player compensation, placing the blame, at least in part, for an injury Bailey suffered because of the lack of payment.

“Our client has had to pay his own airfare to games. Our client suffered a hamstring injury which was clearly contributed to by having to fly 13 hours with several stops in economy and then asked to train the very next day,” Butler’s statement read.

According to Bailey’s management team, issues like the one mentioned in the statement are just some of the facts Bailey could have revealed but chose not to, even though it is his right.

“Our client has to date not been compensated even one penny by the JFF after promising to pay the players after the last game. Our client had not exposed this to the public or that this was an across the board situation of mismanagement by the JFF.

Our client could have said many things yet he decided against doing anything other than put things in true perspective.”

According to Phoenix Management, Bailey has spoken out about poor treatment in his capacity as a club player but faced no sanctions by the club because it was seen as his right. The same, he said, has been true of others in the JFF hierarchy, who have faced no sanctions.

“Carvel Stewart president of HARBOUR VIEW FC RECENTLY made some scathing remarks regarding the JFF and its leadership and protocols. Yet we haven’t heard of any sanctioning of this a JFF board member in a leadership capacity,” read the statement.

According to Phoenix management, Bailey’s statements are correct and it stands behind them.

But the management team went even further, suggesting Bailey would stop playing for the national team if it were proven that any of his statements were untrue.

“Should it be in the best interest of football, Leon has no problems taking time off international football if his countrymen and teammates believe his statements are untrue.

He has to travel long distances to come back to Jamaica from Europe to train and perform for his country. If the country does not want him, then we will consider our options for him during international breaks to be to work on his attributes and skills.”

Leon Bailey has been served with a "cease-and-desist order" from Jamaican football chiefs who came under fire from the Bayer Leverkusen winger.

The highly rated 22-year-old questioned the capabilities of the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) and said the governing body, rather than the country's players, would be to blame if the Reggae Boyz fail to reach the 2022 World Cup.

Bailey, who has frequently been linked with Premier League giants Chelsea, also criticised the selection policies of coach Theodore Whitmore, suggesting he chops and changes his squads too frequently.

He now risks punishment from the JFF, whose president Michael Ricketts has urged Bailey to come to the federation first with any grievances.

Speaking to radio station Hitz 92 FM, Ricketts said: "Tell us what you think the problems are."

Ricketts said the comments were "unfounded", and JFF general secretary Dalton Wint told the Jamaican Gleaner newspaper that Bailey's barbs had breached protocol and would inevitably see him risk sanctions.

Wint said: "You can't be publicly criticising your coach or your administration without the possibilities of you being reprimanded, and so it is something that we are discussing internally as we move forward.

"What he said was very unfortunate, and it does not auger well for good relationship building for players or staff to openly criticise your employer.

"It is a cease-and-desist order because it is something that we will not be accommodating, and we are imploring everybody to stay in line and to be respectful, and if you have any difficulties or concerns, bring it to the right forum and it will be discussed, deliberated, and actions taken, and so don't wash your dirty linen in public."

Bailey, who joined Leverkusen from Genk in 2017, has scored 19 goals in 82 Bundesliga games. He was a substitute on Monday in the 4-1 win over Werder Bremen, coming off the bench in the second half.

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