Chelsea Transfer Rumours: Blues Wise to Join Pursuit of Zakaria Bakkali

Mike Hoag@MikeHoagJrCorrespondent IIAugust 20, 2013

Zakaria Bakkali (left) working past a defender.
Zakaria Bakkali (left) working past a defender.Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Wayne Rooney and Robert Lewandowski aren’t the only players Jose Mourinho is targeting as the September 2 transfer deadline approaches.

The side is also exploring the option of bringing 17-year-old PSV Eindhoven phenom Zakaria Bakkali to Stamford Bridge, as John Richardson of the Express reports.

In the event Manchester United refuses to ship Rooney to their English rivals after their final planned bid of £40 million, Mourinho reportedly inquired about the availability of Lewandowski, as reported by Alan Nixon of the Daily Mirror. But according to Chris Wheeler of the Daily Mail, United manager David Moyes has said Rooney is not for sale.

The Lewandowski option has its obstacles, too. Borussia Dortmund appear content to allow their star player to serve out the final season of his contract before he likely departs next summer to Bayern Munich. The club even recently gave him a raise from £1.5 million to £6.6 million this season, according to German newspaper Spiegel (h/t Agence France-Presse).

What’s Mourinho to do, then, if all of his current options turn up nothing? Adding a superb talent like Bakkali is certainly an interesting option. But what does that do for his side this season? Not much, truthfully.

Planning for the future is never a bad thing, especially with the prospect of adding a talented youngster like Bakkali to the fold. This is Mourinho’s team again, and it would be a terrific coup if he could find a way to start by reeling in the Moroccan international.

Chelsea aren’t alone in their pursuit, though. According to Richardson, Arsenal have intensified their efforts to sign the winger, and Manchester City are also in the mix.

He’s drawing plenty of interest; for good reason, too.

In 23 appearances spread between under-15 and under-21 level, Bakkali has scored 18 times and was also named the best player of the Nike Cup when he was 15 years old.

Bakkali recently made Dutch league history by becoming the youngest player notch a hat-trick. He was also named to the Belgium senior national team; however he elected to play for Morocco.

In just four appearances to date this season, he’s already found the back of the net five times. Not only does he provide lightning pace to beat defenders and an arsenal of moves to blow past them, he’s also efficient as a finisher.

The young Moroccan is definitely a rising star who would eventually become a key contributor at Stamford Bridge after being afforded some time to develop. He’s not the big splash you may have been hoping for, but Chelsea will better off in the long run if they can land him.