Chelsea head to Saint-Etienne to land John Terry replacement

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Chelsea’s title challenge took a turn for the worse after the shock defeat to Stoke and Jose Mourinho looks poised to act in January by bringing in some new recruits.

However, with the club’s trio of strikers clearly misfiring, it is perhaps surprisingly at the back where the former Real Madrid boss is training his transfer-based eye come the New Year.

Saint-Etienne’s 19-year-old centre-back, Kurt Zouma, has been pin-pointed as the future of Chelsea’s defence and a January raid on Ligue 1’s eighth-placed club looks certain as Mourinho aims to pip the Frenchman’s other suitors to the post in sealing his signature.

Chelsea’s problems aren’t exclusively confined to the men whose job it is to score goals. The employees tasked with stopping the opposition finding the net are also doing little to earn the crust.

The Stamford Bridge side, a 2/11 shot to beat Crystal Palace in their next Premier League outing, have only kept two clean sheets in their last eight games in all competitions, and have conceded three goals in each of their last two.

With John Terry now creeping to the top of the hill at 33 years old and David Luiz proving inconsistent in his ability to adequately defend, it seems that reinforcing the heart of the defence is priority number one for Chelsea this window.

Zouma, who is currently serving a 10-match ban for an X-rated tackle which broke an opponent’s leg, has attracted interest from both Manchester City and Manchester United in the past.

He’s made 51 league starts over three seasons at Saint-Etienne despite his formative footballing years and will be earmarked as a student for Terry to guide, before handing over the centre-back reigns upon his retirement.

Clearly a respected talent among the French footballing hierarchy, Zouma has also represented his country 35 times in youth teams between under-16 and under-21 level, scoring two goals.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.