Kurt Zouma: Chelsea wrap up £12.5m deal for St Etienne defender before sending him straight back on loan

Chelsea sign young defender as rebuilding process continues

Click to follow
The Independent Football

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has finally finalised the protracted £12.5m deal for St. Etienne defender Kurt Zouma in a move which sees the the player return to France on loan until the end of the season.

The 19-year-old central defender has joined Chelsea on a five-and-a-half year contract. He has made 12 league appearances for Ligue 1's fourth-placed side this season.

It raises further questions over John Terry's future with the Blues' captain refusing to sign a new deal until the Stamford Bridge club offer him longer than a one-year extension.

It is believed that Chelsea have no intention to lengthen the deal however.

The completion of the Zouma transfer demonstrates how seriously Mourinho is taking the club's plans for the future after Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah also joined alongside Bertrand Traoré.

The Premier League giants are wary of Financial Fair Play and continue to strive to lower their squad's average age.

LIVE! Follow the latest news on all today's deals through to the 11pm deadline

Zouma, a France Under-21 international, has been on Chelsea's long-term list and fits their target profile of young talent acquired at a relatively low price by their standards.

The defender has served a 10-game ban this season, laid down by a more flexible disciplinary system in France, for a tackle that left Sochaux's Thomas Guerbert with a broken leg and a dislocated ankle.

It would now appear that Mourinho's business is done for the day with other targets - Diego Costa in particular - wishing to remain at their current clubs until the end of the season.

"Job done," Mourinho said.

"The last one in the transfer window. In almost every position we have the present and also the future.

"If we don't do it now, probably we can't do it in the summer because other clubs were also very strong on him," Mourinho added.

"So we did it, now he stays at St Etienne, pre-season he will join us.

"We will see if it is to stay or if it is to go on loan."

Who else is on Jose Mourinho's radar?