Everton have reportedly told Kurt Zouma that they would like to pursue him permanently from Chelsea when the current season comes to a close.
The Frenchman joined the Toffees on a season-long loan from Chelsea just seconds before the summer transfer deadline and he has since become integral to the first-team plans with 26 outings in the league alone.
According to The Times, Toffees boss Marco Silva has been impressed with the Frenchman progress under his management this term and he has encouraged the club to make a formal approach over a permanent deal.
It is added that the Merseyside outfit could be prepared to part with a sum of around £30m to acquire his services in the summer, though the deal remains far from assured with the Blues under a transfer ban.
Zouma’s parent club are currently banned from signing players for the next two transfer windows after being punished by FIFA for breaking rules pertaining under-age players, and this may hamper the Toffees’ pursuit.
Chelsea have generally utilised the services of David Luiz and Antonio Rudiger at the heart of the backline this term with the likes of Andreas Christensen, Ethan Ampadu and Gary Cahill to provide the back-up.
Among those, Cahill’s future remains doubtful beyond June when his contract expires and that could provide Zouma with the opportunity to secure some gametime with the Capital-based outfit.
Still, he has no assurances that he can become a regular starter with the chopping and changing of managers at the west London side, and this could tempt him to agree to a permanent switch to Goodison Park.
Regardless of this, the final decision would be left to the Blues, who are currently awaiting the verdict of the recent appeal made to FIFA following the transfer embargo imposed on them.
For now, FIFA have refused to freeze the transfer ban sanctioned, but the Blues could take the case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport if required, to get some leniency to do business during the summer.
In such a case, Zouma could be permitted to seal a permanent departure from the club with Silva prepared to offer him a regular starting role at Everton for the forthcoming campaign and beyond.
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