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West Ham out on Kurt Zouma, hold fast on Declan Rice — reports

Need to look elsewhere...

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Chelsea have reportedly set a £25m asking price on Kurt Zouma, which seems quite reasonable to us, but less so to West Ham. They were said to be unwilling to meet that valuation and now, according to Sky Sports, are definitely out. Not only are they looking at the £4-5m difference as insurmountable, Zouma’s wages are also a big issue.

With two years left on Zouma’s contract, that wouldn’t necessarily be a problem, but his exit seems to be a part of our pursuit of Sevilla’s Jules Koundé, directly or indirectly, so this may be holding up things, as the Guardian, the Telegraph and Goal all report.

Meanwhile, West Ham remain quite unwilling to let Declan Rice leave on the cheap (i.e. for less than £100m), even if the 22-year-old himself is unwilling to sign a new contract. He does have three years left on his current deal, so there’s no rush in that sense, though as the Telegraph report, it also keeps his own options open for a future move — but those rumors will have to wait until at least next summer.

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