Chelsea have today been linked heavily with the signing of Saint-Etienne defender Kurt Zouma. The talented 19-year-old is one of the hottest prospects in French football - and with John Terry not getting any younger Jose Mourinho is believed to have earmarked the French under-21 international as a potential investment for the future.
Of course, Chelsea are not alone.
Manchester United, AS Monaco, Paris Saint-Germain, Inter Milan and plenty more have all been linked with his signature over the past couple of seasons.
But this morning they received a massive boost when Zouma made it clear he would be open to a Chelsea switch - even stating Mourinho had been up to his old tricks, and had recently spoke to him on the phone:
"A phone call from Mourinho? It is true, there was contact a month ago. At first I thought it was a joke. When a great man like Jose Mourinho contacts a small player like Kurt Zouma, that offers great pride. If I was told to join Chelsea, I would go immediately. It will be down to the coach, though, to make the call."
And while Saint-Etienne are in no need of an instant sale or cash influx - they obviously have a price on all their players.
And their manager admitted that the player could go at a certain price - and he even did it with a smile on his face.
"Zouma? Besides an incredible offer, on which will be discussed, otherwise ... The amount of the offer? It's not up to me to evaluate, but €30million and we would rent him the car for him to go!”
His jokingly framed answer received a chortle of laughter from the gathered press - but despite this statement he soon became more bullish on the subject:
“More seriously, the club do not need to sell. And even if that were the case, the club always sells well. We adopt any flexible position. We are still 4th was ambitious players who know that the season is not over. So we will keep our good players...”
The question Chelsea therefore have to ask is just how much Zouma is worth. If they approach the €30 million mark it appears as though Zouma is all theirs for the taking.
But at 19-years-old and a still fairly unproven track record behind him - would Chelsea be better off spending that money on somebody more established?
image: © KevFB