90min
Chelsea Transfer

Chelsea standing firm on Kurt Zouma asking price

Toby Cudworth
Zouma has been linked with West Ham and Sevilla
Zouma has been linked with West Ham and Sevilla / James Williamson - AMA/Getty Images
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Chelsea are standing firm over their £25m valuation of Kurt Zouma, amid ongoing interest from London rivals West Ham.

The 26-year-old was touted as a makeweight in the Blues' pursuit of highly-rated Sevilla centre-back Jules Kounde, but turned down the opportunity to move to La Liga because he is happy and settled in London.

Zouma's decision to reject Sevilla not only put that deal on hold but also coincided with interest from West Ham, whose manager David Moyes is keen to bolster the size of his squad ahead of a maiden campaign in the Europa League.

The Hammers are following up on a number of defensive targets and 90min understands they are pushing ahead with a deal for Fiorentina star Nikola Milenkovic. Talks are ongoing with the player's representatives about wages and agent fees, and there's a confidence that an agreement can be reached despite progress being slow.

Zouma remains in West Ham's thinking, despite their pursuit of Milenkovic, but 90min has learned that Chelsea are not prepared to budge from their £25m asking price. As it stands that valuation is considered too steep by the Hammers, and a deal is currently off the table unless either side is willing to compromise.

Chelsea remain hopeful that Zouma may reconsider joining Sevilla as they remain committed to signing Kounde. Ideally though they don't want to cough up in excess of £50m, and hoped that using the Frenchman in part exchange would help to drive down the talented 22-year-old's price.

While the Blues may be frustrated in their attempts to offload Zouma, they are closing in on success elsewhere in the market. A £97.5m deal for Inter striker Romelu Lukaku is nearing completion, bringing the 28-year-old back to Stamford Bridge some seven years after he left the club to pursue regular first team opportunities elsewhere.

Romelu Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku is heading back to Chelsea / TIZIANA FABI/AFP& Visionhaus/Getty Images

An announcement is expected to be made soon and will mark a return to the Premier League for Lukaku after a two-year absence. His stint at Inter has brought great success - including delivering I Nerazzurri's first Serie A title in over a decade - and has seen Lukaku rediscover the form that prompted Manchester United to pay Everton £75m for his services back in 2017.

Once his Chelsea return is completed, Lukaku will have accrued close to £300m in cumulative transfer fees during his career.

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