Kurt Zouma
Kurt Zouma [Reuters]

St Etienne's Kurt Zouma claims that Jose Mourinho made a phone call persuading the defender to make the switch to Chelsea in the summer.

Zouma was reportedly a target for Arsene Wenger after receiving positive recommendations from Arsenal's French scout Gilles Grimandi to sign the 19-year-old in January. However, the centre-back admitted that Chelsea will be his first choice if he decides to leave the Ligue 1 outfit.

Earlier this month, Zouma's agent David Venditelli had revealed that his client will prefer a move to Stamford Bridge stressing that Mourinho will be vital in shaping the youngster's football career.

"If you tell me to go to Chelsea, I'll go there immediately! Especially after the call from the coach [Mourinho]. 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 call seriously," Zouma told L'Equipe.

The Blues' manager is hoping to beat Premier League rivals Manchester United and Arsenal who have also been linked with the signing the 19-year-old in January.

Zouma claimed that an agreement with his current employers will allow him to leave the French club at the end of the season while expressing his joy at the call from the former Real Madrid manager.

"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. I'm playing my third season in Ligue 1. In June, it will be time to go and see how things happen elsewhere," the Frenchman concluded.

The talented centre-back had stated in October that he wants to stay with the Ligue 1 outfit for one more year. The France U-20 international's current contract with the French club runs out in 2017 after signing a new deal with St Etienne in February last year.

The youngster also played a vital role in helping his country win the U20 World Cup last summer.

The west London club currently have John Terry, Gary Cahill and David Luiz at the heart of their defence. But the Frenchman could be brought in as a long term replacement for Terry, 33, who is yet to be offered an extension to his current deal which expires in less than six months.