West Ham United have reportedly reached a verbal agreement with Chelsea over a €30 million transfer move for French defender Kurt Zouma.
According to reports in The Athletic, Chelsea and West Ham have struck a verbal agreement over a €30 million move for fringe defender Kurt Zouma. Having said that that the well-speculated cross London switch appears to be doubtful at this point in time due to personal terms becoming a stumbling block. This news comes to little surprise as the Frenchman was linked with a Stamford Bridge exit for a long now.
Since the arrival of Thomas Tuchel, Zouma has seen regular minutes hard to come by and has fallen behind the likes of Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger in the pecking order. Chelsea are open to offloading the player as they require funds to complete the blockbuster move for highly-rated Sevilla centre-half Jules Kounde.
The Blues have set the asking price at €30 million for their asset, which West Ham are willing to match. However, the negotiations have stagnated due to the players’ huge wage demands because he is asking for a big raise on his current weekly wage packet he is currently receiving at Stamford Bridge, with a demand of £125,000-a-week being made.
The London Stadium executives are pressing hard to convince the players’ representatives to agree on an acceptable settlement.
All throughout the summer transfer window, the Hammers’ boss David Moyes has been striving to improve his defensive roster. The Irons did get close to signing centre-back Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina, but that move has stalled now as the player has signed a new deal with the Viola. It’s understood that Zouma has been on the top of Moyes’ wishlist and the club’s top priority for a couple of weeks now.
The Hammers have got some serious defensive concerns. Seasoned campaigner Fabian Balbuena has already left the club, having left David Moyes with only Angelo Ogbonna, Issa Diop, and Craig Dawson among his centre-back options. Last season, the Hammers shipped in 47 goals over 38 games and were exposed at times.
The current defensive roster is lacking in depth, youth, and enthusiasm. In addition, Ogbonna and Dawson are on the wrong side of their thirties. So, it becomes essential for the Hammers to splash the cash on a quality central defender. Whether Zouma budges on his wage demands or will West Ham increase their offer now remains to be seen.