U-20 French international Kurt Zouma has expressed his delight at being linked with Chelsea FC.

Chelsea Transfer News - Kurt Zouma Welcomes InterestKurt Zouma’ stock has been on the rise ever since he made his debut for the Saint-Etienne first team back in 2011. He has progressed through the youth system of French football and currently part of the national team which is participating in the U-20 World Cup.

The 18-year-old put up some solid displays in the Etienne team, which won the French League cup last season. He has been monitored by the likes of Bayern Munich, AC Milan, Liverpool and Manchester United for a long time. Russian giants Anzhi has already failed with a bid for him, while QPR were close to landing him last season after holding talks with his representatives – although a move failed to materialize. But according to latest reports Chelsea are the front runners in the race for his signature. Chelsea are believed to be preparing a €12m bid for the defender, who extended his contract with the French club till 2017 back in February.

The Frenchman has expressed his delight at being linked with a club like Chelsea and at the prospect of working under someone like Jose Mourinho. But he insisted that he is only focusing on the U-20 World Cup at the moment.

“If you hear of interest from Chelsea and a great manager such as Jose Mourinho, you take notice.

“It makes you happy, and it means you are on the right way to the top.

“I am relaxed about all the fuss about me being linked with big clubs, at the moment my focus is on the Under-20 World Cup. We have to try to win that with our generation of good young players.” – Kurt Zouma was quoted in press.

Mourinho it seems is prepared to invest his faith in youth this time around and although Zouma is unlikely to get to many chances in the first team (if he signs), he is certainly the one to look out for in the future.