Kurt Zouma: West Ham sign France defender from Chelsea for £29.8m

WEST Ham have signed France centre-back Kurt Zouma from Chelsea on a four-year deal for £29.8m.

Zouma, 26, won two Premier League titles, a Champions League and a League Cup during his seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge.

He has eight caps for France and had loan spells at Saint-Etienne, Stoke City and Everton during his time at Chelsea.

“I’m very happy and very proud,” said Zouma.

“My conversation with the manager went very fast. I just felt like he really wanted me to come and join the team, especially a good team that’s started the season very, very well.

“With the great season that West Ham had last year, that gave the team a lot of confidence to improve this year – and I want to help the team do that.”

Zouma joined Chelsea as a 19-year-old from Saint-Etienne in January 2014 and made 151 appearances for the Blues in all competitions, scoring 10 goals.

The Frenchman played 36 times for Chelsea last season, but did not figure prominently in the long-term plans of boss Thomas Tuchel, who has been targeting Sevilla’s 22-year-old France defender Jules Kounde.

West Ham are top of the Premier League table with seven points from three games after Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Crystal Palace.

“I am delighted to welcome Kurt to West Ham United,” said Hammers boss David Moyes.

“He is a player we have tracked for some time, and we have taken great care and diligence to make the transfer happen. He was always our first choice and I am very happy that he is now our player.”

Zouma, who is due to link up with France this week for their World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Finland, could make his West Ham debut at Southampton on 11 September when the Premier League returns after the international break.
(BBC Sport)

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