Chelsea battle to keep Bertrand Traoré after teenager excels in Asia

 

Jakarta

There is anxiety at Chelsea that they could lose the exceptional 17-year-old midfielder Bertrand Traoré over the next six weeks before they are able to hand the teenager a professional  contract on his 18th birthday in September.

The Burkina Faso international scored his second goal of the club’s Asia tour on Thursday night in Jakarta, a spectacular left-foot shot from the inside right channel. Yet afterwards, club officials tried to stop Chelsea players even discussing Traoré, claiming he was a “triallist” and attempting to divert attention away from the youngster.

Under Fifa regulations, Chelsea  cannot give the player a professional contract until he is 18 on 6 September, in accordance with the rule that prohibits international transfers for  non-European Union players until that age. Yet it would appear that Traoré “the triallist” has been at Chelsea for some time, at least as early as September 2011. He is in the United Kingdom on a student visa.

The concern for Chelsea is that the teenager, who has had an association with Auxerre in the past, is effectively a free agent. Chelsea are in the process of applying for a Home Office work permit for him, although they are not convinced they will succeed. If that is the case they would not yet be able to offer him first-team football and he could theoretically be persuaded to sign for another European club when he turns 18 on the basis they could fast-track him into the first team.

Traoré was first scouted by Premier League clubs when playing as a  14-year-old for Burkina Faso at the Under-17 World Cup finals in Nigeria in 2009. In an interview he gave to the BBC in January 2011 he mentioned an interest from Chelsea. He said then: “I like Chelsea because we have Africans there – [Didier] Drogba, [Michael] Essien, [John] Obi [Mikel].”

Traoré has a brother, Alain, 25, who plays for Lorient having previously been at Auxerre. Both brothers were in the squad for Burkina Faso at last year’s African Cup of Nations. Jose Mourinho has talked openly about how highly he rates Traoré and selected him from a large pool of academy and Under-21s players to make up the numbers of his Asia tour squad.

The Chelsea and England defender Gary Cahill said that Traoré had taken his chance well.  He said: “I don’t know the ins and outs of the situation, but he’s certainly done himself no harm in the two weeks we’ve been here. It’s too early to say he’s ready to do this and that, and we don’t want to get  carried away, but he’s certainly not looked out of place in training alongside some top international players. He’s a young lad but I’m sure he’s got a bright future at Chelsea.”

The young players in the squad, Nathaniel Chalobah, Josh McEachran and Lucas Piazon, will all now go on loan while Islam Feruz returns to play for the Under-21s. Tomorrow, Fernando Torres, Juan Mata, David Luiz, Oscar, Cesar Azpilicueta and John Obi Mikel join up with Mourinho’s squad, who fly to the United States on Tuesday.

News
The Banksy image in Folkestone before it was vandalised
people
Life and Style
tech

Sales of the tablet are set to fall again, say analysts

News
i100
News
Brian Harvey turned up at Downing Street today demanding to speak to the Prime Minister
news

Met Police confirm there was a 'minor disturbance' and no-one was arrested

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Concerns raised phenomenon is threatening resort's image as a family destination

Life and Style
gaming

I Am Bread could actually be a challenging and nuanced title

News
Nigel Farage has backed DJ Mike Read's new Ukip song
i100
Voices
The number of children in relative income poverty is currently 2.3 million in the UK
voices

Environment
A Brazilian wandering spider
natureIt's worth knowing for next time one appears in your bananas
Life and Style
Time and Oak have developed a product that allows drinkers to customise the flavour and improve the quality of cheaper whiskey
food + drink

Sport
football

Peter Biaksangzuala died from his injuries in hospital on Sunday

Life and Style
The final 12 acts will be facing Simon Cowell, Cheryl Fernandez-Versini, Mel B and Louis Walsh tonight
fashion

The X Factor's judges colourful outfit was mocked by Simon Cowell

Latest in Sport
Sport
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album
Hugh Bonneville & Peter James: 'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'

How We Met: Hugh Bonneville & Peter James

'Peter loves his classic cars; I've always pootled along fine with a Mini Metro. I think I lack his panache'
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's heavenly crab dishes don't need hours of preparation

Bill Granger's heavenly crab recipes

Scared off by the strain of shelling a crab? Let a fishmonger do the hard work so you can focus on getting the flavours right
Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

Radamel Falcao: How faith and love drive the Colombian to glory

After a remarkable conversion from reckless defender to prolific striker, Monaco's ace says he wants to make his loan deal at Old Trafford permanent
Terry Venables: Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England

Terry Venables column

Premier League managers must not be allowed to dictate who plays and who does not play for England
The Inside Word: Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past

Michael Calvin's Inside Word

Brendan Rodgers looks to the future while Roy Hodgson is ghost of seasons past