Chelsea target Kurt Zouma is very unlikely to leave St Etienne during the January transfer window with the club under no obligation to sell until their valuation for the defender is met.
The 19-year-old centre half has garnered a reputation as one of the most promising young defenders in Europe and continues to attract the attention of clubs from across the continent.
While Newcastle United have also expressed an interest in adding Zouma to their French contingent, Chelsea remain favourites to get his signature. The youngster has also indicated himself that Stamford Bridge would be his preferred destination after being contacted directly by Jose Mourinho.
Reports earlier this week suggested the Blues had finally clinched a deal for the teenager but St Etienne president Roland Romeyer has calmed the situation, insisting none of the clubs interested in the player had matched the Ligue 1 side's demands.
""It is our ambition not to weaken," Romeyer was quoted as saying by Le Sport 10. "There are discussions over Zouma with English, Italian and French clubs. But he will not leave this season unless we find an arrangement with the potential buyers. Otherwise it will be the summer transfer window. We have no obligation to sell."
Zouma, who led France to glory in last summer's Under-20 World Cup, has been touted as a possible long term replacement for John Terry, who has not been offered a new contract by Chelsea with his current deal set to expire this summer.
Chelsea have busied themselves this January in bringing Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah to the club and when asked of interest in Zouma, the Blues boss was typically coy on the situation.
"Chelsea always think about the future and when we think about the future we have scouting and we contact agents," Mourinho told a press conference last week.
"We contact players which is when we have permission and we try to be in control of the situation. But we think we are fine and we think we are doing well."