Zakaria Bakkali remains a key transfer target for Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and Arsenal, but that quartet now appear to face competition for the PSV Eindhoven winger from an influential European rival.
According to the Daily Express, each of those aforementioned Premier League clubs are determined to sign a player who has been somewhat prematurely dubbed the 'new Eden Hazard' when the transfer window reopens in January but will have to see off the challenge of La Liga giants Barcelona in order to seal any deal.
While PSV will presumably be disappointed to lose one of European football's most encouraging young talents, Bakkali looks almost certain to move on soon with his current contract due to expire at the end of the season.
If the Eredivisie outfit do not sell this winter, then obviously they run the risk of losing the 18-year-old for next to nothing - a decision that could come back to haunt them if Bakkali goes on to fulfil his considerable potential.
Already a senior Belgium international with one cap to his name, Bakkali appears to have been frozen out at the Philips Stadion as a direct result of his reluctance to extend his stay at the club.
At this stage it is obviously difficult to ascertain which of the plethora of clubs keen on acquiring Bakkali will eventually be of most interest to the player, although one would presume the allure of Barcelona would be difficult to resist.
While Blaugrana suffered a trophyless 2013/14 campaign after being pipped to the La Liga title by Atletico Madrid on the very last day of the season, they look revitalised under the leadership of new manager Luis Enrique and currently sit top of the table after six wins and one draw from their opening seven games of the new campaign.
A move to the Premier League should also appeal, however, particularly with Chelsea looking so incredibly strong under Jose Mourinho and Manchester United slowly improving under Louis van Gaal despite the shocking number of defensive injuries suffered at Old Trafford in recent weeks.
Arsenal and Liverpool will also hold out hope of success, not least because Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers both have a strong track record of developing and nurturing good youth players.
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