West Ham reach ‘agreement’ with Chelsea for Kurt Zouma as Blues hunt Jules Kounde transfer

Tuchel comments on Zouma's Chelsea future amid West Ham links

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West Ham have verbally agreed to pay Chelsea £25.7million for Kurt Zouma, according to reports. However, Zouma’s wage demands are currently proving to be a stumbling block in the deal. Chelsea will push through their interest in Jules Kounde if they can sell his fellow Frenchman.

Zouma has been linked with a move away from Chelsea in recent weeks.

The 26-year-old was rumoured to be offered to Sevilla in part-exchange with Kounde.

However, Zouma wants to stay in London and both West Ham and Tottenham are interested.

The Athletic says West Ham are the favourites to sign the former Everton and Stoke loanee.

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That is after the Irons agreed to paying Chelsea’s asking price for the player.

But Zouma wants to earn around £125,000 a week, which would make him the highest earner at the London Stadium.

Those demands are currently preventing a deal from progressing any further.

Chelsea are looking to sell Zouma following the emergence of Trevoh Chalobah.

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Academy graduate Chalobah started the UEFA Super Cup and the first game of the Premier League season but was an unused substitute in the 2-0 win over Arsenal on Sunday.

Zouma also remained on the bench for the match at the Emirates and didn’t feature in the 3-0 win over Crystal Palace either.

If Zouma does go then Chelsea will continue their pursuit of Kounde.

Kounde’s release clause at Sevilla increased by £8.5m earlier this month to around £77m.

Former Chelsea defender Frank Leboeuf does not think Kounde is a necessary signing after the early-season performances of Chalobah.

Asked if Chelsea still need to sign Kounde, Leboeuf told ESPN FC: “That’s a good question, that’s a very good question.

“I almost had tears in my eyes when I saw Trevoh Chalobah scoring, it was absolutely fantastic. He was very good in the Super Cup and was good against Crystal Palace.

“I’m very fond of that player and I have doubts that Chelsea need another defender.

“They already have lots of defenders and Chalobah is already on top of who we were thinking of.

“So what’s the point? Kounde is a fantastic player but you cannot make everyone happy so what’s the point having Chalobah, Zouma, [Andreas] Christensen, [Antonio] Rudiger, Thiago Silva when most of them will be on the bench?

“You have to make choices, you have two places for five or six players, it’s too many. If Chalobah keeps playing like this, they don’t need Kounde.”

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