Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur have suffered a massive setback to their hopes of signing PSV Eindhoven star Zakaria Bakkali as Atletico Madrid have reportedly wrested the upper hand to land the talented winger in the ongoing transfer window.
Spanish newspaper AS states that the La Liga champions are in an advanced stage of talks and are on the verge of acquiring the winger's services from the Dutch giants for the upcoming campaign.
The Reds and the north London club were believed to be interested in the highly-rated 18-year-old with the Brendan Rodgers's side thought to be leading the chase.
Bakkali is currently in the final year of his contract and his refusal to sign an extension saw him being shipped to the reserve team towards the end of last season.
PSV are said to be considering cashing in on their academy product before deadline day than lose him for free next summer.
The youngster broke into Phillip Cocu's side at the start of the previous campaign and made 16 league appearances, which included a hat-trick in his second Eredivisie fixture against NEC Nijmegen.
He has been compared by the Belgium national team boss Marc Wilmots to their compatriot and Chelsea star Eden Hazard.
Atletico are investing in the market following the departure of some star players like Diego Costa and Filipe Luis.
Wingers Adrian Lopez and Jose Sosa too have left the Vicente Calderon. The former joined Portuguese club FC Porto while the Argentinean returned to Ukrainian outfit Metalist Kharkiv at the end of his six-month loan spell.
Diego Simeone has the task of rebuilding his squad and could straightway make Bakkali a regular member of his starting lineup.
Los Rojiblancos's summer signing, Angel Correa had to undergo a surgery due to a heart condition, which prevents the 19-year-old forward from playing at least for the next five months.
The AS report also suggests that the Spanish capital outfit might consider sending the PSV academy product on a loan to another La Liga club in order to give him time to adapt to his new surroundings.
Bakkali could cost £8m and it remains to be seen if Atletico are willing to match PSV's valuation to seal the deal.