The Belgian side will do all they can to keep two key elements of their squad until the summer, but they admit that their challenge is a tough one. Genk technical director Dimitri de Conde has admitted that he is already looking to replace Leon Bailey and Wilfred Ndidi, who are wanted by Premier League sides Manchester United and Leicester respectively. The champions appear close to signing the 20-year-old Nigerian midfielder, but the Red Devils have also been credited with an interest in the 19-year-old Jamaican attacker, who could also be on the move come January.
“We'll fight to keep them here until the end of this season, but that is no easy task,” De Conde told HLN. “If mega bids - by Belgian standards - are made, they we cannot reject it, and if the boys also feel ready for a step up then it will be very difficult to keep them in Genk. “I must be ready with alternatives.” The English clubs will not be allowed to sign the pair cheaply, though. “In the category of players 20 or under, then these boys are absolutely top talents, so I think a fee of between €20-€25 million is certainly warranted,” he continued. “The ideal scenario would be that we reach a deal in January with the interested clubs but the guys say here for the rest of the season. I’ll do that if I can.”
Ndidi is already a Nigeria international, having been capped on six occasions. He has been a regular for Genk in the heart of their midfield, where he has turned out 33 times already in 2016-17, scoring two goals, and is considered as a potential replacement for N’Golo Kante at Leicester. Bailey, meanwhile, has featured on 31 occasions this season, proving his quality in front of goal by scoring eight times for his club, including seven in the Europa League. Moreover, the once-capped Jamaica international has provided nine assists for his team-mates from his favoured position out in the wide areas of the attack. The teenager is already well travelled, having played football in Jamaica, Austria, Slovakia and Belgium, so a move to England would be unlikely to give him any fears.