Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma has reportedly turned down the chance to make a switch to London rivals West Ham United this summer.
According to a report from The Guardian, West Ham United have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma as the Frenchman is not interested in making a move to the London Stadium.
Zouma has been with Chelsea since 2014, when he signed from French club Saint-Etienne, but has never been able to establish himself as a permanent fixture in the Blues backline. The 26-year-old had a couple of loan spells away at Stoke City and Everton before being given another shot at Stamford Bridge by Frank Lampard in 2019.
While he enjoyed a brief run in the side, Zouma was once again slipping down the pecking order, with his situation worsening further once Thomas Tuchel took over the reins in January earlier this year. The German tactician favoured the centre-back trio of Cesar Azpilicueta, Thiago Silva and Antonio Rudiger with Andreas Christensen as cover, leaving Zouma out in the cold.
With Chelsea intently pursuing Jules Kounde this summer, Zouma’s situation is likely to get even worse. While Chelsea tried to palm him off to Sevilla as part of a player-plus-cash deal for Kounde, the La Liga club refused such a proposal, leaving the Blues in a bit of a predicament.
West Ham United, though, made a swoop to try and take Zouma off Chelsea’s hands as David Moyes looks to bolster his backline. The Hammers need to add more fresh faces to an ageing centre-back department at the London Stadium. Indeed, of the four centre-backs at Moyes’ disposal, only one, Issa Diop, is aged less than thirty.
Furthermore, West Ham will also need to fill in the gap left by the departure of Fabian Balbuena. And given Zouma’s experience in English football, the 26-year-old would have been a solid addition to the squad for the east London giants.
However, it has now emerged that Zouma has turned down the opportunity to make the cross-London switch from Chelsea to West Ham United. This has left the Hammers disappointed, as per the report, considering that they had already begun negotiations with the Blues over the transfer fee for the Frenchman.
Following the development, Moyes & co. are already starting to look at replacements, with Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic emerging as an option, while Duje Caleta-Car of Marseille is also under consideration. As for Zouma, it remains to be seen whether the Frenchman remains at Chelsea or leaves for a different club this summer.