Kurt Zouma may be the only center back on the team signed beyond this season, but he also looks to be the most likely to leave — this summer was set to be the summer of our defensive overhaul after all (though that was before our current group started playing much better following Tuchel’s arrival).
That overhaul may yet happen, with Chelsea in talks to sign Jules Koundé from Sevilla, possibly with Zouma moving the other way as part of the deal. But that availability has alerted others as well, including West Ham, who are apparently “prepared to pay £20m”. That’s a bit of a lowball, but you don’t start negotiations with your final offer.
West Ham in talks to sign Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma. West Ham prepared to pay £20m - below Chelsea's valuation. Zouma settled in London and - as it stands - would welcome the move ahead of being part of a potential swap deal involving Sevilla's Jules Kounde. #WHUFC #CFC #Zouma— Dharmesh Sheth (@skysports_sheth) July 29, 2021
The claim from Sky Sports adds that Zouma is “settled” in London and would prefer to stay there instead of moving to Seville, though previous reports indicated that he would have no trouble trading dreary England for sunny Spain either.
This seems like an opportunistic move from the Hammers, but unless Sevilla are dead-set on Zouma, he would be helpful in partially funding the move for Koundé either way (both in terms of fees and in terms of squad space). Plus, we’re probably just days or even hours away from a Declan Rice swap variation of this story, so we’ve got that to look forward to.