Roma chasing Bundesliga star after Malcom transfer falls through at final hurdle
Not a bad second choice
Roma have identified their next top priority in the transfer window after their move for Malcom fell through at the last hurdle. It was announced on Twitter that Roma had agreed a fee with Bordeaux for the Brazilian winger and that he would sign the following day, subject to a medical.
Barcelona then scuppered the deal, persuading the player to ditch the Roma deal and change his flight to Rome for one heading for the Catalan capital.
Roma were bitterly disappointed by the breakdown of their agreement with Malcom, but just most people do after a heartbreak, they've bounced back and identified their next target.
According to the highly reputable Gianluca Di Marzio, Bayer Leverkusen's Leon Bailey has emerged as Roma's top transfer target. The Jamaican winger has lit up the Bundesliga over the past year and a half, scoring 12 goals last season from the wing. His pace is his main weapon, but he is also composed in front of goal and possesses tremendous dribbling ability.
Leverkusen would reportedly demand a fee of around €40m; peanuts for a player with his potential in this market.
He very much fits the same profile as Malcom: a young, fast, tricky, left-footed winger. In fact, you could argue that he has a higher ceiling than the Brazilian.
Both Chelsea and Arsenal were also linked with Bailey this morning by The Sun, as the London clubs are also in the market for a direct winger. Chelsea could potentially lose both Willian and Eden Hazard in this window, to Manchester United and Real Madrid respectively, so a player of Bailey's profile would significantly soften the blow.
Arsenal, meanwhile, don't have any proper wingers in their squad, after selling Theo Walcott and Alexis Sánchez in the same window last January. A player with pace and good movement to complement's Mesut Özil's vision is exactly what they need. This could easily turn into a three-way tug of war with Bailey in the middle.