The deal for Kurt Zouma to move across London from Chelsea to West Ham has fallen through, according to reports in France.
Just yesterday, there were claims that Chelsea had agreed a deal to sell Zouma to West Ham, who would pay around £25m for his signature. The centre-back has been a Hammers target throughout the summer transfer window and it seemed they were getting their man. But there has been a late twist.
According to Telefoot (via Get French Football News), the deal is now off because of an issue between the two clubs. It was not a problem between the player and his prospective buyers.
A medical was due to take place but the two clubs have now called the deal off. It will send West Ham back to the drawing board as they seek to strengthen in defence.
So far, they have struggled to reinforce the squad that secured Europa League qualification last season. Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola has been their only major new arrival.
They activated a permanent move for defender Craig Dawson after he impressed on loan last season. However, signing another player in that position remains a priority.
West Ham thought Zouma would be their man after seemingly striking a deal, but that move has now collapsed.
It will force them to find yet another solution after a previous attempt to sign Nikola Milenkovic from Fiorentina met a similar conclusion.
The situation is not ideal for Chelsea, either, because they need to sell one defender if they are to sign Jules Kounde, their top remaining target this summer. Intermediaries have been at work to negotiate a potential transfer from Sevilla, but they may end up going without.
Sevilla confirm Kounde stance
Not only has the collapse of the Zouma sale put up a further obstacle, Sevilla have confirmed there is currently nothing on the table for Kounde.
“It is true that there was an offer for Kounde that we turned down,” said club president Jose Castro on Wednesday (as translated by Goal).
“Right now there is no concrete offer for the player. If it comes, we will look at it as we always have done. If we have to [sell], we will do, as long as those resources can be re-invested in the club to keep improving and expand our trophy cabinet.
“While the market is open, anything can happen. We have players who could leave. Anything can happen this time of year until the 31st. It is a window where there have been few moves in most clubs, but not in ours.”
As things stand, the futures of both Zouma and Kounde appear destined to be with their current clubs.
However, Sky Sport‘s Gianluca Di Marzio has since tweeted Kounde’s name next to Chelsea, with an hourglass emoji, indicating that that deal may still be on at least.