Manchester United are one of a number of clubs interested in securing the signature of highly rated Kurt Zouma, his advisor David Venditelli has confirmed.
The 18-year-old enjoyed a breakthrough season for club side Saint-Etienne making 18 appearances Ligue 1 this term, scoring twice, and is rated as one of the best young defenders in world football.
Speaking to fichajes.com, Venditelli confirmed clubs from across Europe were tracking the progress of Zouma.
“English, Italian and Spanish teams have been interested in him,” he said.
“But when you want to sell a player for more than €10m it is hard to find a team capable of meeting those demands.
“The club knows we’ve spoken to Liverpool, with Atletico Madrid and with Bayer Leverkusen.
“They also know that Manchester United are interested, but don’t want to pay the money they want. They also know that Juventus are interested.
“It should not be ignored that the centre-back’s game shows great maturity for a player of his age. Indeed, a quick look at the statistics (whoscored.com) will tell you that whilst he makes considerably fewer tackles than his defensive colleagues, Zouma makes an astonishing number of clearances, blocked shots and interceptions each game – testament to his acute ability to read the game.” Theelastico.com
Zouma is blessed with fantastic physical ability in pace and strength, leading many to believe he would be extremely well suited to the rough and tumble of the Premier League.
Despite this, a quick look at a scouting report on Zouma from Theelastico.com shows there is far more to his game than just power.
Although acquiring a midfielder appears to be United’s most pressing concern in the close season given the strong links to Thiago Alcantara, one shouldn’t assume a centre back isn’t high on David Moyes’ list of priorities this summer.
While United appear to be well-stocked in the defensive third, Rio Ferdinand is now 35 and there are no guarantees he can continue in the same vein of the previous 18 months.
Meanwhile, doubts continue to linger over Nemanja Vidic after his injury woes so a centre back may make sense with the future in mind.
Ezequiel Garay has been persistently linked to the club and reports even suggested a deal had been agreed with Benfica.
At 18, Zouma is certainly representative one for the future and is set to star for France in the U20 World Cup. In 2-3 years’ time, stalwarts Vidic and Ferdinand will be out of the first-team picture, while Zouma would have his best years ahead of him.
Guillermo Varela and Wilfried Zaha appear to both be sound pieces of business and Alcantara seems to be edging closer to a move to Old Trafford, so Zouma could become yet another fabulous young talent at David Moyes’ disposal.