West Ham have sealed a deal with Chelsea for the signature of French international Kurt Zouma for an undisclosed fee.
The 26-year-old defender joins West Ham on a four-year contract following protracted negotiations between the two clubs and the intermediaries involved in the deal.
Zouma was a member of the France Euro 2020 squad and has eight international caps to his name. During his time at Chelsea, Zouma won two Premier League titles, the League Cup, the UEFA Super Cup and was an unused substitute when the Blues beat Manchester City in May to lift the Champions League.
Zouma’s European experience will be vital to David Moyes as he prepares to take the Hammers into the Europa League group stages for the first time in their history.
The defender joined Chelsea from Saint-Etienne in 2014 for a fee in the region of £12m before immediately returning to the French club on loan. During his time at Stamford Bridge, Zouma also had loan spells with Premier League outfits Stoke City and Everton before returning to Chelsea and establishing himself as a member of the first-team squad.
Zouma made over 150 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions. Under former Blues boss Frank Lampard, Zouma became a regular in the first XI, starting 15 of the first 17 Premier League matches last season and the first four of Chelsea’s Champions League matches in 2020.
Once Lampard was replaced by Thomas Tuchel, Zouma fell down the Blues pecking order and was deemed surplus to requirements at Stamford Bridge to the benefit of West Ham.
Zouma was named in Didier Deschamps’ France squad for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers and will link up with the Hammers following his international duty.
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Zouma’s West Ham debut could come on September 11 when the Hammers travel to St Mary’s to take on Southampton. The defender’s first match in front of the home fans at the London Stadium is likely to be on September 19 against Manchester United unless the Hammers have a home Europa League leg on September 16., something they will find out during Friday’s Europa League draw.
This is a developing story. More to follow…