Chelsea in 'advanced contact' with French defender - Is Luiz free to go?

Chelsea target Kurt Zouma revealed this week that he is in ‘advanced talks’ with the Blues over a move to the Premier League.

The 19-year-old French defender told L’Equipe that Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho called him a month ago.

“I loved Chelsea since I was a boy. I always play with them on Playstation. Blue is my favourite colour. If I’m told to go there I will,” said the Saint-Etienne centre-back.

Whilst the signing of such a highly-rated youngster will no doubt be welcome new for the Stamford Bridge faithful, could Zouma’s revelations hint at a possible departure?

Since Mourinho returned to the Bridge this summer, the status of defender David Luiz has changed as the Brazilian’s performance and consistency dropped this term.

The 26-year-old appeared no less than 55 times for the Blues last season under the reign of Rafael Benitez, but so far this term under Mourinho he has started on just 16 occasions in all competitions.

Meanwhile, rumours of interest in Spain have continued, with Barcelona reportedly eyeing the centre-back to boost their La Liga title challenge.

It cannot be denied that Kurt Zouma lacks the maturity and experience to replace a world-class player like Luiz – Kouma is more likely to be a signing that Mourinho intends to develop and utilise sparingly over the next few or five years.

Mourinho spoke last month of the situations concerning Juan Mata and Michael Essien, explaining that he would prefer to keep them at Stamford Bridge but, crucially, conceding that if they wished to leave, he would not stand in their way. I would imagine, under similar circumstances, the same may be true of Luiz if he were to express an interest in leaving.

Luiz will no doubt have the World Cup this summer in his homeland on his mind, and if he wishes to make former Blues boss Felipe Scolari’s squad, he will need to be playing week-in-week-out for Chelsea. However, I would be very surprised if he is in any way upended by the potential arrival of the young and raw talent Kurt Zouma.

image: © Ben Sutherland

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