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St. Etienne rule out Zouma departure

Nope, no Kurt Zouma photos to be found
Nope, no Kurt Zouma photos to be found
Mike Hewitt

We've seen one major player at St. Etienne depart this summer, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang headed to Borussia Dortmund, but there's still at least one other very interesting player on their squad in centre back Kurt Zouma. Chelsea have been linked to him on several occasions this summer, and for good reason: He's an elite defensive prospect who'd help with depth immediately and has a chance to turn into a top flight player.

Shame he's not coming then:

We've been very clear. There was only one player given permission to leave - Aubameyang. No other player will leave this season, because we want to continue to have a competitive squad. Christophe Galtier asked to keep his squad. Zouma has great potential to improve a lot, we want to keep him this season.

-St. Etienne president Roland Romeyer. Source: RMC via ESPN.

Seems straightforward enough, although it's hard to deny that it's disappointing. Although Chelsea have signed both Andre Schurrle and Marco van Ginkel already this summer, there's a sense that their big buys -- the 'need' targets like a centre back, a defensive midfielder and an elite striker -- haven't quite come to fruition yet. Are we still in the calm before the storm, or is this going to be a relatively low-key summer? With the number of rumours flying around, I'd be surprised, but you never know...

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