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Zouma confirms 'advanced' Chelsea interest

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Philippe Huguen / Getty Images

The Nemanja Matic party is dying down -- how soon we move on in the footballing world -- and now it's time to look onwards and upwards to our next potential January signing. The idea of St. Etienne centre half Kurt Zouma joining up would have seemed far-fetched a week ago, but there have been whisperings from agent and club about Chelsea interest, and now the defender has confirmed that they've been talking:

Well, its true. There has been an advanced contact. At first I thought it was a joke. But I quickly took [Mourinho's] call seriously. A great man like Jose Mourinho phoning a small player like Kurt Zouma, it's nice. It does not happen to you every day and it is a great sign of respect and trust.

I will always take Chelsea. I loved this club since childhood and blue is my favourite colour. In my head, it is clear: I want a change. When going abroad, it's make or break. But it is a risk worth taking.

-Source: L'Equipe via Inside Futbol.

The idea, one suspects, would be a loan back to St. Etienne until the end of the season and then a recall to Stamford Bridge, a move that would conveniently get around Chelsea being impacted by Zouma's current ten-match ban for a leg-breaking tackle on Sochaux's Thomas Guerbert. Zouma has a lot of developing to do, but he's an elite-level talent, and as the profit made on the impending sale of Kevin de Bruyne should indicate, having talented young players, even if they fail to break into the first team, is only ever a good thing.

The French sources make it clear that Chelsea aren't the only team in the running, but what's also clear is that we're in with a very good shout to pick up one of the premier young defenders on the continent. Keep an eye out for this one. It could well happen.