Chelsea ahead of Liverpool in Belgian starlet race

Chelsea are set to beat Liverpool to the signature of highly-rated Belgian winger Zakaria Bakkali in January, according to reports from Fichajes.

The 18-year-old ace looks set to leave PSV Eindhoven when the transfer window re-opens, with a dispute surrounding his contract – which expires at he end of the season – having pushed the relationship between club and player to breaking point.

The Eredivisie giants are desperate to keep the talented wide-man, but are aware that letting him run his deal out will significantly reduce the figure they can get for his services – a compensation fee, due to his age, is liable to be minimal in comparison to a transfer fee.

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Liverpool had been dubbed the favourites to land the ‘new Eden Hazard’, but now it appears that Chelsea are firmly in pole position.

Jose Mourinho is understood to be pushing for the move, which could be enough to persuade the teenager to head to London.

Bakkali rose to prominence last season when he became the Eredivisie’s youngest ever hat-trick scorer with a three-goal haul against NEC Nijmegan at the age of 17.

He has since been handed his first senior international cap and has continued impressed in the Dutch top flight.

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