Chelsea have had an active transfer window this summer, allowing 22 players to leave Stamford Bridge on loan or permanent deals. The Blues have many promising youngsters on their books, and attract plenty of interested suitors from across Europe. While most of the departures have never featured for Chelsea’s senior team, the club could now be prepared to part ways with a regular starter. Recent rumours are strongly suggesting that Kurt Zouma could be heading on loan to Schalke this season, with an option to buy next summer.
The 21-year-old centre-back has already proven himself among the best young defenders in the world, making 38 league appearances since 2014, as well as featuring for the French national team. Zouma would have been more involved last season if not for rupturing his anterior cruciate ligament in February, and is expected to not return until around October or November, having missed the European Championships and pre-season preparations.
Manager Antonio Conte apparently recognises the need for Zouma to have a run of matches to regain fitness, but may not be willing to put his team’s campaign at risk. Bundesliga side Schalke are desperate to improve their defence before the window closes, and have targeted the injured star for a loan deal. Surprisingly, the temporary transfer for the highly-rated Frenchman could also include an option for Schalke to buy Zouma at the end of the season.