| 2.8°C Belfast

Bailey: ‘Lion’ post was just about my tattoo

Some fans thought the Bayer Leverkusen star was hinting at an England World Cup call-up.

Leon Bailey

Bayer Leverkusen winger Leon Bailey clarified his comments after being linked to an England call-up for this summer’s World Cup after a tweet he posted caused a stir.

Bailey grabbed the attention of many fans on Wednesday as he posted a tweet about a new tattoo which hinted at an England call-up minutes before manager Gareth Southgate named his 23-man squad for Russia.

The 20-year-old uncapped Jamaican-born player could represent Germany under residency rules and has been linked to playing for the Three Lions due to two grandparents having English passports.

He tweeted a photograph of himself on a beach with the caption “Humble Lion” which caused excitement among fans, who began thinking Bailey was indicating an England call-up.

But on Thursday, he posted a video on Instagram in which he cleared up any rumours connected to his tweet, stating that the caption referred to his new tattoo of a lion’s face on his shoulder and not a Three Lions call-up.

He said: “I just wanted to clarify something. My last post had everything to do with my new tattoo – just to let you all know.”


Leon Bailey (leonbailey_9)

Leon Bailey (leonbailey_9)

Leon Bailey (leonbailey_9)

Bailey is reported to be close friends with England’s Raheem Sterling and some of the tweeted replies from fans that followed placed the former Genk winger alongside the Manchester City midfielder – also of Jamaican descent – in the Three Lions squad.

Earlier this year, Bailey refused to pledge his international future to Jamaica, with whom he won one cap at under-23 level three years ago, and told Bild: “Which country I play for is still open.”

Southgate named his 23-man squad and five players on standby to travel to Russia for the finals which get under way next month with no mention of Bailey in his plans – this time around.