Chelsea appear to be shopping Kurt Zouma around, mainly as part of our pursuit (directly or indirectly) of Jules Koundé, though with the 26-year-old preferring to stay in England rather than go to Sevilla in a part-exchange deal. And that wouldn’t be a problem, except all the Premier League sides linked are proving unlikely to do business with us at the moment. Spurs’ (ugh, no thanks) primary target is Cristian Romero of Atalanta while Crystal Palace have already signed two center backs this summer, including our own Marc Guéhi.
West Ham appear to be the lone frontrunners, but according to Sky Sports, they are unwilling to meet our £25m asking price (they apparently could get Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenković for less), while Zouma’s wages would also prove to be a stumbling block. He may not be a starter at the moment, but he does have two years left on his contract and is said to be just as happy to stay and see where that leads him.
#Zouma to #WHUFC tough deal due to fee & wages. Zouma open to move but happy to stay at #CFC - contract to 2023. Zouma to #Sevilla as part of Kounde deal not impossible - but he prefers London stay. #WHUFC remain in talks with #Fiorentina over #Milenkovic. More on @SkySportsNews— Dharmesh Sheth (@skysports_sheth) August 1, 2021
Chelsea head coach Thomas Tuchel wasn’t exactly ruling out that scenario either when talking to the media after yesterday’s 2-1 friendly win against Arsenal, in which Zouma played 45 minutes as the right-central defender in the back-three (with Trevoh Chalobah deputizing in the center, which is where we had seen Zouma most often under Tuchel).
“I know him exactly, what I can demand from him, what he can give to the team. He was part of a very successful half a season. He was a very lively part of it, maybe not in minutes but I want to remember he was a crucial member of the team that won 2-0 against Atletico, for example.
“So when he was needed – and he had some tough decisions against him – but when he delivered. [So] I know what he can deliver. It was his first 45 minutes of the season and from now on, we go.”
-Thomas Tuchel; source: Football.London
And go he shall, though perhaps not away from Stamford Bridge ... just yet?