Chelsea Transfer News: Kurt Zouma Expected to Follow Nemanja Matic

Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistJanuary 15, 2014

DERBY, ENGLAND - JANUARY 05:  Jose Mourinho manager of Chelsea on the touchline during the Budweiser FA Cup Third Round match between Derby County and Chelsea at iPro Stadium on January 5, 2014 in Derby, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
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Saint-Etienne defender Kurt Zouma appears to be on his way to Chelsea after the player's agent, Alexandre Bonnefond, confirmed he is in talks with a major English club.

Bonnefond suggests his client is in the latter stages of finalising a transfer away from Ligue 1.

While other European clubs are in with a shot of snatching his signature, it seems Chelsea are leading the race, as reported by Jamie Sanderson of Metro:

"Some big clubs are interested in signing Kurt," said Bonnefond. "There are some talks with teams from Italy, France and especially England."

L'Equipe (via Football Italia) understand that Inter Milan and Monaco are thought to be the other clubs in with a shot of signing the player.

Zouma, a 19-year-old centre-back who can also play on the left side of defence, looks set for future stardom after comfortably adapting to life in France's top division.

Although he is perhaps most famous for receiving a 10-match ban after his sliding tackle left Thomas Guerbert of Sochaux with a double leg-break in November 2013, per Sky Sports, Zouma has all the attributes to become a Premier League star.

Strong in the air and blessed with excellent passing skills, Zouma possesses decent pace and the ability to read dangerous situations quickly. He's averaged 9.3 effective clearances per every Ligue 1 game this season, per, highlighting his no-frills attitude to overcoming danger.

The Frenchman has made 11 appearances in Ligue 1 this campaign, and while he needs to work on the timing of his tackles, he appears to be an ideal fit for Jose Mourinho's Chelsea side.

Zouma is a ball-playing defender who will fit straight into a Blues squad that is built around moving possession forward quickly, but he may struggle to dislodge John Terry and Gary Cahill this season.

STOKE ON TRENT, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07:  Chelsea captain John Terry leads out his players for the pre match warm up priior to kickoff during the Barclays Premier League match between Stoke City and Chelsea at Britannia Stadium on December 7, 2013 in Stoke
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Mourinho typically likes to stick with his tried and tested old guard, but adding further talent to his defence is a smart move considering David Luiz looks to have pushed his way forward into midfield.

If Zouma secures a Stamford Bridge switch, he would become Mourinho's second signing of the transfer window. Benfica's Nemanja Matic made a Chelsea return after three years in Portugal, the club announced on Wednesday, Jan. 15.

While Zouma's deal certainly appears further off than the Serbian midfielder, all indications suggest the starlet will opt for a move to England over Italy or staying in France.