Kurt Zouma is reportedly one step closer to joining West Ham United from Chelsea, with the Frenchman keen on remaining in the Premier League.

According to Italian journalist Gianluigi Longari, Kurt Zouma’s preference is to remain within the Premier League. To that end, the French defender has made it clear that he does not wish to be a part of the deal to bring Jules Kounde from Sevilla to Chelsea, and will instead be joining West Ham United instead.

Kurt Zouma joined Chelsea from Saint-Etienne in January 2014 and after a short-term loan spell back in France, he arrived at Stamford Bridge rated as one of the best young defenders in Europe. The Frenchman initially made promising progress at the west London club before his development was hampered by a long-term knee injury.

However, since making his return from the fitness issue, Zouma has not been on a similar upward trajectory, struggling while on loan at Stoke City while failing to nail down a spot at Chelsea. To date, the 26-year-old has made 150 appearances for the Blues, chipping in with ten goals and six assists. This summer, though, he has faced an uncertain future at the club, with West Ham United his likely destination.

Zouma was also initially linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Everton, with recent reports also claiming that Chelsea wanted to include him in the deal to land Jules Kounde from Sevilla. However, the French international does not wish to depart the Premier League, which has since given West Ham the impetus to make a move for him.

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The interest from West Ham makes a lot of sense, considering they need to make quality signings to sustain their position inside the top half of the Premier League table. In addition, with Fabian Balbuena being released and Issa Diop facing an uncertain future at the London Stadium, the Hammers need to bolster their defence anyway.

To that end, Zouma is a viable target for West Ham, who have now been handed a major boost in his pursuit due to his desire to remain in the Premier League. As for Chelsea, they might have to pursue a straight cash deal for Kounde, with Sevilla demanding €80 million for the Frenchman.

As things stand, it looks like Zouma’s time at Chelsea is at an end, with a cross-London switch on the horizon for him. What now remains to be seen is if West Ham can produce an attractive enough bid to secure the services of the 26-year-old from Chelsea this summer.

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