St Etienne won’t lower £18m asking price for Chelsea target

Chelsea are said to be keen on securing Kurt Zouma this month, but St Etienne are refusing to lower their valuation for the player.

With John Terry approaching the end of his illustrious career at Stamford Bridge, Jose Mourinho is on the lookout for a new central defensive enforcer. Zouma has a reputation as one of the best young talents in France, and at 6ft 3in tall, he could be just the fit for the heart of the back four at Stamford Bridge.

The Mirror claims Mourinho wants to wrap up a deal for the 19-year-old before Friday’s deadline, but it willing to let him remain in Ligue 1 for the rest of the season. However, Les Verts have slapped an £18million price tag on the head of the youngster, and are simply refusing to lower this valuation.

“Some clubs have launched a bid for the player, but we will not change our strategy,” co-president Roland Romeyer is quoted as saying. “There have been discussions for Zouma with English, Italian and French clubs, but he will not be leaving this month unless we find an agreement with some of the potential buyers. If not, he will have to wait until the summer. We are under no obligation to sell.”

Mourinho reportedly placed Zouma on his wanted list upon his return to the English capital in the summer, and has continued to monitor him this season. Indeed, it has even been suggested that the Portuguese coach contacted the France Under-21 international to personally inform him of his interest in signing him.

Zouma, who has also been linked with Manchester United in the past, has played 42 league games for St Etienne since making his debut in 2011, and his current contract runs until the summer of 2017. Although he has yet to win a full cap for France, some pundits believe he has a chance of making their World Cup squad.


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