Everton open talks with Chelsea over Zouma transfer

Everton have reportedly begun formal negotiations with Chelsea over a potential deal for Kurt Zouma who is now the Blues' top transfer target following the acquisition of André Gomes.

The French defender enjoyed a successful loan spell at Goodison Park this past season following a year at Stoke City but had been expected to be called back into the Chelsea fold for 2019-20 on account of the London club's two-year transfer ban.

The Stamford Bridge hierarchy are appealing a decision that would prevent them from making incoming signings but, in the meantime, with Gary Cahill departing on a free transfer and Antonio Rudiger now unlikely to recover from knee surgery in time for the new season, Chelsea may be reluctant to let any centre-halves leave in the current transfer window.

The BBC's Phil McNulty has since reported that Everton are stepping up their bid to sign Zouma on a full-time basis and they could be aided by Chelsea's need to offload at least one of their foreign players in order to comply with Champions League rules.

The London side could agree to sell Zouma to the Blues for an estimated £30m to satisfy that requirement and instil their faith in David Luiz, who recently signed a new contract, Andreas Christiansen and Rudiger while also having young duo Ethan Ampadu and Fikayo Tomori as back-up.  

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