Liverpool are ‘serious’ contenders to sign PSV Eindhoven youngster Zakaria Bakkali this summer, according to reports in Holland.
Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf reports that Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers has positioned the Anfield club at the front of the queue to snap up the 18-year-old should he decide to leave PSV this summer.
He is yet to put pen to paper on a long-term contract extension, and there is real fear at PSV that they’re set to lose another top young prospect.
Zakaria Labyad was a rising star at PSV before he opted to join Sporting Lisbon in the summer of 2012. But the Moroccan international failed to settle in Portugal and he’s currently back in the Eredivise on loan with Vitesse.
PSV don’t want Bakkali to follow the same path and are keen for the player and his family - Bakkali’s aunt and father represent his interests - to commit to the club.
Real Madrid are tracking his progress as well, while Liverpool have been left impressed after watching him in action.
But part of the problem for Bakkali is the fact that PSV have used him intermittently this season - he’s only made 15 appearances in the Eredivisie and just seven of those were starts.
Equally comfortable on the wing or up front, the teenage starlet had been tipped to gatecrash Belgium’s World Cup squad after making his senior debut last year.
But a lack of first-team football is threatening to jeopardise those hopes, and Bakkali may look to Liverpool this summer for more playing time. Rodgers hasn't been afraid to put young players into his starting eleven, whereas at Real Madrid he would likely have to make his way through the Castilla second-string before promotion to the first-team.