Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma will be one of the first names on the teamsheet if he does make the move to West Ham before the transfer window shuts, according to Noel Whelan.
The former Leeds striker claims the fact that the Frenchman has already settled in London means a switch to the Hammers would help him quickly establish himself as a key player:
“I think it’d be an easy transition. He’s probably not going to be needing to move home. It’s a club in Europe, a club that whatever he would be paid, would be one of their first-choice centre-halves. The transition is already there when it comes to English football. He’s been here a long, long time now. He is a very dominant centre-half, there’s no doubt about that.”
“A very powerful player, very good in the air and dangerous and committed in both areas, going forward and defending. There’s a lot of competition at Chelsea, he’s been in and out of the side. This could be a move that makes him one of those concrete players in the first team every single week. I think that’s what these sort of players need. He’s had a very successful time, won everything at Chelsea. Maybe a new challenge is on the horizon.”
It is believed that West Ham have agreed a fee with Chelsea for Zouma, with reports claiming that the Irons are prepared to pay around £26m to snap up the 26-year-old.
However, the France international’s wage demands are proving to be a major issue, with the centre-back expecting a sizeable increase on what he is already earning at Stamford Bridge.
If there isn’t any breakthrough in talks within the next eight days, though, West Ham are almost certainly considering backup options. They have already failed in an attempt to sign Fiorentina’s Nikola Milenkovic but they seem determined to land a new centre-half ahead of the transfer deadline.