Chelsea are ready to loan defender Kurt Zouma to German side Schalke, according to usually reliable journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.

The France international is on the mend after a serious knee ligament injury last season, with the all-action centre-half believed to be a couple of months away from full fitness.

Zouma is being lined up as a possible long-term replacement for Blues stalwart John Terry and has impressed since leaving Saint Etienne to join the West London side.

Antonio Conte has stated that he wants to add an extra central defender to his group before the transfer window closes, with Terry and Gary Cahill currently featuring for the 2014-15 champions.

The report suggests that Zouma will be sent to Bundesliga side Schalke for the rest of this season to play regular first-team football upon his return to fitness.

Given Conte’s comments that he wants an extra defender, loaning the French enforcer out this season would come as a major shock to the Stamford Bridge supporters.

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