Chelsea to sign Burkina Faso midfielder Traore

In this edition of the Back Pages, there are rumours abound that Mario Balotelli has drawn interest from Chelsea for a transfer.

LONDON — Chelsea has agreed to sign highly rated Burkino Faso midfielder Bertrand Traore on a 4 1/2-year contract following a trial with the Premier League club.

The 18-year-old Traore, who joins from Association Jeunes Espoirs De Bobo-Dioulasso, played in all three of Chelsea’s matches in its preseason tour in Asia and scored twice.

Traore made his international debut as a 15-year-old in September 2011 and has made 10 appearances for the African country, which is preparing for the second leg of its World Cup playoff against Algeria next month.