Jose Mourinho is reportedly ready to battle former club Tottenham for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, who is expected to leave Stamford Bridge this summer. The Frenchman has struggled to establish himself in Thomas Tuchel’s starting XI since the German replaced Frank Lampard and there is now a feeling that this could be the right time for all parties to move on.
Zouma was a deadline day acquisition for Chelsea back in January 2014 when he was snapped up from Saint-Etienne.
He returned to the Ligue 1 club on loan and would go on to win the Premier League and League Cup the following season, his debut campaign in England.
The 26-year-old also spent time out on loan with Stoke and Everton gaining Premier League experience before playing a substantial part in Lampard’s plans.
Chelsea are now stacked with options at centre-back and another could be added to the squad this summer.
“I just give an example: Chelsea needs a centre-back – Kurt Zouma. You don’t need to buy, you don’t need to spend. Zouma,” Mourinho told Sky Sports.
“He’s champion of England, he played for Chelsea, played for Stoke in the Premier League, played for Everton in the Premier League, played for France.
“He’s your player, he’s on loan, where are you going to buy a better player than him? You have him.”
Despite winning trophies under Mourinho’s leadership, it wasn’t all fond memories for Zouma, who has previously detailed the time when he was called “rubbish” by his old boss.
“I cannot remember which match we were playing, we were losing 3-1, away from home,” Zouma told RMC Sport in February 2020.
“The following day, he [Mourinho] catches up with me, he takes me to his office, and he asks me if I am ok. I said yes, he asked me if I was sure.
“I said yes again, he replied ‘Because you were rubbish this weekend.’ Like that, direct. It shocked me, but it made me want to immediately respond on the pitch.
“I remember that it hurt me, that it affected me. But I really wanted to show him that I could react.”