Barcelona have reportedly set their sights on Kurt Zouma, who is currently on a season-long loan spell at Everton from Chelsea
According to a report by Tribal Football, Barcelona are keeping their options open in their bid to bolster the heart of their defence. The latest player on the Blaugrama’s radar is Chelsea loanee Kurt Zouma, who they are set to scout during the upcoming international break while he represents France.
Zouma has had to go back to the drawing board after a devastating knee injury took away one season of his learning years. With his growth stunted, the Frenchman has had to take a step away from Chelsea, first spending a season on loan Stoke City, where he took small steps towards getting back to his best.
But, the signs have been more promising for the 23-year-old since joining Everton, where he has gone on to establish himself as one of the mainstays at the back. Depending on his progress this term though, Zouma could be braced for a big move, with Barcelona turning their attention towards him.
The La Liga champions are set to enter the transfer market for a centre-back, either in the January transfer window or next summer, and for good reason. Veteran Barcelona defenders Thomas Vermaelen and Gerard Pique are past their prime, and are already showing signs of age catching up to them.
Vermaelen, in particular, could be the first in line to be shown the way out, with Barcelona manager eager to create a core group of young players. As far as Pique is concerned, the 31-year-old will be slowly phased out over the coming seasons. Keeping the situation of both the players in mind, Zouma is a viable target, who could be easily poached with his Chelsea future unclear.
Barcelona are set to run the rule over the 23-year-old in the upcoming international break, with Zouma earning a France recall from Didier Deschamps. If impressive, there is a reasonable chance that the Catalans could continue scouting the player when he returns to club duty with Everton.
Comfortable on the ball and dominant in the air, Zouma could be just what the doctor ordered for Barcelona, as they scour for a long-term replacement for Pique. It now remains to be seen if the French defender manages to impress them much, and what Chelsea feel about the increasing interest in him.