All had been quiet on the Kurt Zouma front over the last three weeks, but all of a sudden interest in Chelsea’s 23 year-old centre back has erupted in the waning hours of the transfer window.
First it was Everton, who only have three warm bodies (one of them injured) to man the middle of their backline and who are reportedly interested in a loan. Zouma is reportedly open to playing at Goodison.
Now L’Equipe claims that Manchester United are muscling in on the Zouma act. Jose Mourinho has been making unpleasant noises in Ed Woodward’s direction about his need for a CB. Woodward’s answer is reportedly an offer to buy, not borrow, Zouma.
The internet being the internet, L’Equipe’s spare report has been embellished with (probably) spurious details. ManU offered £17.5m and it was instantly rejected! ManU have agreed to a £33m deal and will sign him to a 5-year contract!
From a desperation point of view, this actually makes some sense. Manchester United have yet to get their paws on their primary target, Tottenham’s Toby Alderweireld. And it was under Jose Mourinho that Zouma first ascended to Chelsea’s first eleven in 2015, earning twenty Premier League starts before rupturing his knee ligaments in February of 2016. The knee’s healthy again, having survived a full season at Stoke City, and while Zouma may not be Mourinho’s first choice, he knows what he’s getting with the Frenchman.
Finally, even though Chelsea themselves are in the market for another CB, it’s become obvious that Zouma isn’t in their plans. Maurizio Sarri didn’t give him a single minute of playing time this pre-season and didn’t even take him to Australia (due to an injury, they said).
Sad times for Happy fans, if this deal goes through. But if United manage to pry Toby Alderweireld loose from the clutches David Levy at Spurs, then perhaps it won’t.
And in the hours since L’Equipe’s story broke big it and was picked up by the English media, Manchester United apparently felt compelled to quash it.
Simon Peach, the chief football writer for the Press Association, says that United are pouring cold water on the rumor. That’s not exactly the same as denying it completely, but close enough, maybe.
One thing there’s no denying, we’ll know for sure in less than 24 hours.
P.S.: intriguing addendum from Matt Law
Big if right now but IF Manchester United have shown an interest in Zouma as reported in France then I am 100 per cent sure Chelsea would ask on Martial...— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) August 8, 2018