By Mike Southey

29th Jul, 2021 | 5:10pm

Kurt Zouma would favour move to West Ham

West Ham United have identified Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma as one of their major summer targets.

Sky Sports journalist Dharmesh Sheth has reported the Irons’ plans to bid £20million, which is below his valuation.

One positive is that the Frenchman would favour a move to the London Stadium as he is settled in the capital.

Writing on his personal Twitter account, Sheth shared the major update that could put the Irons in the driving seat.

There have been talks of Zouma being involved in a swap deal for Sevilla’s Jules Kounde, but this could bring them to an end.

“West Ham in talks to sign Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma,” he wrote.

“West Ham prepared to pay £20m – below Chelsea’s valuation. Zouma settled in London and – as it stands – would welcome the move ahead of being part of a potential swap deal involving Sevilla’s Jules Kounde.”

Advantage.

This appears to put the ball in our court this summer, and if we want Zouma bad enough, we have to cough up the cash.

If there was a come-and-get-me plea, this was it and the Hammers have to jump the gun, pay the money, and bring Zouma in before this potential swap deal gathers pace.

With Fabian Balbuena leaving, and more games added to our schedule through the Europa League, squad depth in defence is critical.

Zouma would be perfect for that, and would easily jump to be our number one defensive option ahead of the injury-prone Angelo Ogbonna.

With our threat from set-pieces, there aren’t many better than Zouma at attacking the ball, and he could become a real weapon in that category too.

Hopefully, this one gathers pace soon and we can welcome Zouma alongside Alphonse Areola, who looks set to sign on the dotted line this week.

In other West Ham United news, Talks underway: The Irons want to seal major outfield signing – report

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