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Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma.Reuters

Chelsea have agreed terms with Saint Etienne defender Kurt Zouma but the Blues will loan the 19-year-old back to his club until the end of the season, reports in France claim.

The Saint-Etienne centre-back is considered one of the finest young players in Europe and manager Jose Mourinho have been monitoring him since his impressive performance in the Under-20 World Cup last summer, where he led France to victory.

With David Luiz's future uncertain and with John Terry yet to be handed a new contract with his current deal set to expire at the end of the season, Mourinho has decided to sign Zouma as his long term-replacement.

According to Le 10 Sport, Chelsea and Saint Etienne have already agreed a £12m deal although the player will stay on loan at the Ligue 1 side until the end of the season to continue his development.

Manchester City and Newcastle were also heavily linked with the player in recent weeks but Zouma's determination to move to London after Mourinho called him last month has been a key factor in concluding the deal.

In expressing his his desire to join Chelsea Zouma told the French press: "There was advanced contact last month. At the start I thought it was a joke but afterwards I quickly took [Mourinho's] call seriously. When a great man like Jose Mourinho calls a little player like Kurt Zouma, it's nice. It doesn't happen every day and it's a big sign of respect and confidence."

"If you tell me to go to Chelsea, I'll go there immediately! Especially after the call from the coach. It's given me ideas. I'm playing my third season in Ligue 1. In June, it will be time to go and see how things happen elsewhere," he added

The Blues had already signed Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah during the January transfer window.