Report: Celtic pushing to beat La Liga sides to free transfer of Zakaria Bakkali

Zakaria Bakkali

Celtic are pushing to sign Zakaria Bakkali on a free transfer this summer, it is being reported.

Celtic are pushing to sign Zakaria Bakkali on a free transfer this summer, report the Scottish Sun.

The paper claim the Scottish champions have made an approach for the controversial Belgian youngster, citing sources at his club PSV.

Bakkali was previously heralded as the shining light of Belgian football, bursting onto the scene as a 17-year-old by netting on his debut for Dutch side PSV.

He quickly earned an international call-up, but he did not make the World Cup squad, and fell out with his club over his refusal to sign a contract extension.

Bakkali has been ostracised over the past year, and has not played a first team game. Still only 19, he is clearly a talent with a bright future who just needs a new start, and Celtic are apparently keen to provide this.

They will face competition from La Liga side Valencia, who Inside Spanish Football reported in January were hoping to seal an agreement during the last transfer window, with interest from Atletico Madrid also cited.

To pay a fee for Bakkali could be seen as a risk, but to get him on a free transfer would be a gamble worth pursuing. Having lost a key year of his development this season, Bakkali can't afford to make the wrong move, and switching to a club where he will not play.

At Celtic there would be a fair chance of him getting games if he works hard and can show he is deserving, and the move would show Europe's top clubs that Celtic can compete for players with the ability to reach the top level.

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