Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma Reuters

Manchester City are desperately looking to add a centre-back to the squad should Joleon Lescott leave the Eithad Stadium this January and according to reports they are considering signing Chelsea target Kurt Zouma.

The 19-year-old Saint-Etienne defender is considered one of the finest young players in Europe and a number of big European clubs have been monitoring him since his impressive performance in the Under-20 World Cup last summer, where he led France to victory.

Chelsea and Newcastle have been heavily linked with Zouma this month and according to Manchester Evening News Manuel Pellegrini's side are also monitoring the youngster.

With Lescott's future up in the air, the Chilean boss is looking to sign a centre-back and due to the difficulties in signing his first choice, Porto's Eliamquim Mangala, he is considering Zouma and Bayern Munich defender Dante as back-up alternatives.

Nevertheless, it is understood that Chelsea remain favourite to secure the services of Zouma as the player recently claimed that he was keen on playing for the Blues - even suggesting that Mourinho had made a personal approach to sign him.

"If you tell me to go to Chelsea, I'll go there immediately," he said earlier this month.

"Especially after the call from the coach. It's given me ideas. There was advanced contact last month. At the start I thought it was a joke but afterwards I quickly took the call seriously."

The Mirror reports that John Terry is preparing to leave Stamford Bridge when his contract expires at the end of the season and Mourinho sees Zouma as his long-term replacement.

Saint-Etienne want to keep Zouma until the end of the season but are aware the player may be tempted to move to a big club this January, and reports in French claimed recently that they are already monitoring alternative centre-backs to replace the youngster.

Zouma's current contract with the French club runs out in 2017 and the French side have insisted several times that they will not negotiate a deal below €20m.