Chelsea have thrown their lavish hat into the ring to sign the French defensive prospect Kurt Zouma.
The Blues are 11/4 to win the Premier League after beating Hull 2-0 and are looking to strengthen their backline with a player earmarked as a future France captain by former skipper and current coach, Didier Deschamps.
Sitting in fifth in Ligue 1, the Greens are accepting of the fact that their 19-year-old prized asset will be on the way in the summer, but should the right offer come in this January it’s thought they’d be willing to let him go sooner than anticipated.
The Times reports that Inter and Monaco offered St Etienne £9m for his services earlier in the window, but it is believed Jose Mourinho’s men are prepared to trump both potential suitors with a beefier offer in a bid to get the deal completed this month.
Normally a regular in the St Etienne team, Zouma has had his appearances limited to just 11 this term on account of the 10-match suspension he picked up after breaking the leg of Sochaux’ Thomas Guerbert.
The player may be best off turning down Chelsea for the sake of his development, though, as he’s unlikely to be granted much playing time at Stamford Bridge.
Some of Europe’s finest young talents such as Thibaut Courtois, Kevin De Bruyne and Romelu Lukaku have all been shipped out on loan at various times, unable to get in the Blues side on account of their huge squad and Jose Mourinho’s favouring experience.
In terms of bringing on youth products, Chelsea must be one of the worst in the top flight and, despite his age, Zouma has demonstrated a dependability to marshal the first-team defence at St Etienne. Sitting on the bench week-in, week-out is certainly going to be a detriment to his progression.
Besides, based on present form, it’s not as though the west Londoners defence needs strengthening. Their win at Hull was the fourth game in five in which they’ve not conceded a goal.
With a Chelsea move likely to go hand-in-hand with an extended time on the subs bench, Zouma would be best off taking up offers from either Monaco or Inter to continue his rapid rise.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date
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