Everton have reportedly opened negotiations with Chelsea regarding the permanent signing of defender Kurt Zouma, according to The Telegraph.
The 24-year-old enjoyed a successful loan spell at Goodison Park last season. He played 36 times in Marco Silva’s team, scoring twice and building up a resolute partnership with Michael Keane.
One stumbling block towards a permanent deal is the transfer ban currently hanging over Chelsea. It is hoped, however, from an Everton perspective that the Blues will still consider letting him depart Stamford Bridge this summer.
The French defender is unlikely to come cheap and it has been previously mentioned that the Toffees would be willing to pay £30 million (The Sun).
Everton are also working hard to land Andre Gomes from Barcelona, another loan star from last season. The Guardian reports that a £22 million transfer is ‘close’ to completion.
Landing Zouma would be a sensational signing for Everton.
At 24-years-old, the warrior-like central defender could become a mainstay in the Toffees team for several years.
He held a strong rapport with Keane last season and that could be one of many reasons why Silva wants to take him back to Goodison Park.
If Everton are serious about challenging for Europe on a regular basis they can’t keep relying on loan players.
Adding the £40k-a-week enforcer (Spotrac) on a permanent basis would be a sound piece of business from Everton and it would delight the club’s supporters.
Everton lost just once during their last eight games of 2018/19 and Silva will strive for some continuity, particularly at the back.
If the boss can pair Zouma and Keane together again next season, it would give the Toffees a solid platform to build upon.
European football should be on the horizon more often than it is for the Toffees and Zouma can help ensure that.