Arsenal ‘make contact’ to sign £8.5m-rated defender

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Arsenal have reportedly ‘made contact’ to sign Kurt Zouma from Saint Etienne, according to sources in France. Former footballer and now journalist Jean-Michel Larque appeared on French radio station RMC today and suggested that Arsenal have been in contact with Saint Etienne over the signing of highly rated centre-back Kurt Zouma (via @ASCFR on Twitter).

18 year-old Kurt Zouma is one of the most in-demand defenders in world football currently, with a number of Europe’s elite clubs allegedly following the Frenchman. Saint Etienne are reportedly asking for £8.5million for Zouma, who is being closely followed by Anzhi, Chelsea and Borussia Dortmund.

Arsenal have been heavily linked with Ashley Williams as a defensive reinforcement this summer, but Swansea are reportedly demanding in excess of £10million for his services. A move for Kurt Zouma would make more sense as he offers a youthful option from centre-back, something the club currently doesn’t have. Williams is in the same age bracket as current trio Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. With Ignasi Miquel failing to impress in the reserves, a move for a younger centre-back to succeed the current trio in time seems like a more appropriate and measured move from the Gunners.

Kurt Zouma finds himself in a similar situation as Raphael Varane who left Ligue 1 very early in his career. The former will surely take confidence from how Varane has succeeded and could influence his decision on which club he chooses as his next destination.

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