Liverpool, Arsenal linked Bakkali 'not welcome' with PSV first team says coach

Zakaria Bakkali

Zakaria Bakkali is not a popular figure at PSV at present.

PSV's breakthrough player of last season is currently being forced to train with the club's reserves after a contract dispute turned sour.

Zakaria Bakkali hit headlines at the start of 2013/14 with a hat-trick in the Eredivisie, winning a call-up to the Belgian national side.

The 18-year-old was subsequently linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and Real Madrid, but saw his form dip towards the end of the season and lose out on a place in Marc Wilmots' World Cup squad.

With a contract expiring in 2015, PSV fear losing the talent on a free, and feel his head has been turned by his rapid rise to stardom, and the club are taking action.

Belgian news outlet report: "He refuses to extend his contract. As long as he does not, he is not welcome at the A squad."

PSV manager Phillip Cocu adds: "The ball is with him. We have clearly stated what the reason is."

It is not a good way for the teenage talent to begin a season, one which is clearly an important one for him.

If he remains ostracised, and not given a platform to consistently showcase his talent this coming year, clubs said to be queuing up to sign Bakkali on a free may dwindle and leave him with far less exciting options to sign next summer.

What was evident last season was that despite being a player of outstanding potential, he remains a raw prospect, one who needs time to develop and regular football.

PSV is the perfect stage to do that, and pushing too hard to make the jump too soon could prove to be a big mistake.

Register for LIVERPOOL team updates

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch