Jamaica star Bailey 'ready for the next step' amid talk of £25m Aston Villa move

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Leon Bailey says he is "ready for the next step" and eager to play at "the highest level" as Aston Villa look to put a big-money deal in place for the Bayer Leverkusen winger.

A move to England for the Jamaica international has been mooted for some time , with four-and-a-half productive seasons spent in German football.

Bailey has hit 39 goals for Leverkusen through 156 appearances, while also weighing in with a healthy number of assists, and believes the time has come for him to take on a new challenge.

What has been said?

The highly-rated 23-year-old, who is said to have been the subject of a £25 million ($35m) bid from Villa, has told ESPN on his future plans: "One hundred per cent, I’m totally ready for the next step.

"I’ve been working hard to be able to reach where I am today. I feel like I’m at an age and point in my life where I feel like I’m ready for the next step. Hopefully we can make that happen soon.

"For me, just playing at the top. The highest level. I feel like I need a new challenge so anywhere where it’s a good opportunity for me to really showcase myself and work hard."

Will Bailey be on the move this summer?

Villa's initial approach is said to have been knocked back, with Leverkusen having Bailey tied to a contract through to 2023.

His stepfather has, however, admitted that talks continue to be held with Villa and that a deal could be pushed through before the summer deadline passes.

Craig Butler has told BILD : "The clubs are holding talks.

"There are different interested parties from the Premier League. We are checking the options.

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"It is important that Leon takes the right step. Therefore it has not yet been decided whether he will change this transfer period or later.

"Leon feels at home in Leverkusen. There will only be a change if everyone is satisfied."

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