Kurt Zouma: Chelsea sign £12.5m French defender - so what now for John Terry?

Captain's future uncertain after the arrival of French defender

Chelsea will sign the French defender Kurt Zouma for £12.5m from St Etienne with a view to the player spending the rest of the season on loan in France before coming to London in the summer, as Jose Mourinho's rebuilding continues.

The deal, Chelsea's fourth signing of the window, puts further pressure on the situation of John Terry, the club captain, whose future beyond this season is yet to be resolved by the club.

Terry, 33, has been told that a decision has not yet been made on whether he will get a new contract and he is unlikely to get an answer until March.

Transfer deadline day January 2014 - LIVE

Zouma, 19, will go straight into the first-team squad when he arrives at Chelsea. The club had originally planned on signing the Porto defender Eliaquim Mangala, with a strong interest in him last summer, but the Porto defender has been given a £38m valuation by his club, which Chelsea felt was unreasonable.

The deal for Zouma demonstrates how seriously Mourinho has taken the opportunity to continue his process of change at Chelsea this month. Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah have been brought to the club while Bertrand Traoré's future has finally been secured after he became eligible to sign a professional contract in the United Kingdom.

Zouma's arrival in the summer means that Chelsea can afford to be flexible when it comes to the futures of Terry and David Luiz. As ever, the director Marina Granovskaia will have a major part to play in liaising with owner Roman Abramovich over the futures of Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole – all of whom could potentially leave the club when their contracts expire at the end of the season.

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. 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.

Fulham will sign the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Lewis Holtby, beating Aston Villa to the player, who has had a medical at the west London club. Holtby could yet be followed out of Spurs by Etienne Capoue, in whom Napoli are interested, and the club would listen to offers for the striker Gylfi Sigurdsson and Nacer Chadli, who only arrived last summer, on the final day of the transfer window.

There remains interest from some of the hierarchy at Spurs in re-signing Dimitar Berbatov, whom Fulham are prepared to sell in this window before his contract expires in June. As it stands, it is unlikely that manager Tim Sherwood and technical director Franco Baldini would sanction a move for Berbatov. However, the option is there for Spurs chairman Daniel Levy and the former Manchester United striker is likely to be the subject of interest on the final day of the window.

Queens Park Rangers loaned Adel Taarabt - who has spent the first part of this season on laon at Fulham - to Milan in Serie A, one of the first major decisions by the Italian club's new coach Clarence Seedorf. Rene Meulensteen is also expected to break the club's transfer record on the Greek striker Kostas Mitroglou of Olympiakos for more than £12m. Mitroglou, 25, would be giving up the chance to play against Manchester United in the Champions League this season.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific