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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Chelsea Round-Up: French centre-back on West Ham radar, Hunt for English midfielder, Advanced talks with La Liga defender

 West Ham United join race for £40,000-a-week Chelsea defender West Ham United are considering a move for Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma, as...

 West Ham United join race for £40,000-a-week Chelsea defender

West Ham United are considering a move for Chelsea centre-back Kurt Zouma, as David Moyes eyes reinforcements in the defensive unit. France international has been identified as the perfect target, with the Hammers even set to fork out £20m for the services of the defender.

Formerly of David Moyes’ old club Everton, Kurt has been deemed surplus to required by the German manager at London club. Chelsea are even open to using him as a makeweight in a deal to add top target Jules Kounde. But Zouma is keen on remaining in London rather than moving to Sevilla, which has put the Hammers on red alert.

West Ham United are in the market for new defenders this transfer window in their bid to not only impress in the PL but also in the UEL. 

They have recently roped in PSG shot-stopper Alphonse Areola, following a successful loan spell at Fulham last campaign. Kurt, too, has a vast amount of experience in English football, having mustered a total of 165 PL games during his time at Chelsea, Stoke City and Everton. 

Unfortunatelyy, Zouma has fallen out of favour under the German manager, starting in only seven games last campaign and falling behind the likes of Thiago Silva, Cesar Azpilicueta and Antonio Rudiger in the pecking order. His role in the first team is ready to diminish further, with the Blues keen on bringing Jules from Sevilla. 

It opens the door for Kurt Zouma to eye a move elsewhere, with the Hammers appearing to be the perfect destination. Leeds United closely monitoring €20m-rated Chelsea midfielder An update has emerged on Leeds United’s reported pursuit of Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher.

 U21 England international spent last campaign on loan with Crystal Palace amid limited chances at Chelsea, still just 21 years of age. And after returning to Chelsea amid West Brom’s relegation, Gallagher is again in demand. The Peacocks have been credited with an interest in Conor as they look to build on their fine first campaign back in the PL. 

With that in mind, Leeds United might want to get their skates on if they wish to pull off a move for the English midfielder this transfer window. Crystal Palace is likely to be an attractive offer for the 21-year-old midfielder, given he can stay in the capital with a loan switch to Selhurst Park. And so the Peacocks will likely need to make their interest clear soon if they want to beat Palace to the deal. 

Conor played 30 PL games last campaign for the Baggies, starting 28 of those matches. Gallagher scored twice and assisted twice for West Brom last campaign. Conor has four years remaining on his current Blues contract. 

The Englishman is a product of the Blues academy, having joined the club as an 8-year-old. Gallagher spent the last two campaigns on loan with three teams, Charlton Athletic and Swansea City in the Championship and West Brom.

 Conor was an essential figure in West Brom midfield, playing most of their matches in the league. Chelsea in advanced talks with 22-year-old French centre-back Chelsea and Sevilla are discussing details regarding the transfer of Jules Kounde to the London club. 

The Blues wants to offer a part-exchange involving Kurt Zouma, whereas La Liga giants want France international’s €80m release clause paid. Jules has become a crucial part of the Sevilla back-line ever since he arrived from Bordeaux in 2019.

Kounde always looked destined for a bright future at a bigger team, and the Blues have duly come forward with an offer. The 22-year-old defender was also part of France’s Euros squad, although he did not get enough opportunities to showcase his talent fully. However, moving away from Sevilla and onto the PL will provide him with a top platform to perform.

 The Blues just won the UCL, and the German manager is building his squad to retain the title and win domestically. The French defender is considered a key part of his plans next campaign. The 22-year-old defender has played 89 times for Sevilla during his stay in Spain and will likely command a large transfer fee. The Spanish club reportedly agreed on a player-plus-cash deal from Tottenham for Jules, with Davinson Sanchez going the other way. It showed the La Liga side’s willingness to sell the Frenchman. 

 rejected Spurs’ approach citing their ambitions as a problem for his own. However, Tottenham returned to Sevilla and signed teenager Bryan Gil with Lamela going the other way along with €25m. The Blues wanted to crack a similar deal by including Kurt Zouma in the part exchange for Jules. 

How ever, La Liga giants does not seem too keen to enter another part-exchange deal with an English club. They instead would like the Blues to pay Jules Kounde’s €80m release clause.

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