West Bromwich Albion lead the chase for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, according to The Mirror, but it is Stoke City that are in pole position to land the Frenchman on loan according to The Telegraph.

It has been claimed the Baggies and Potters are among over 20 teams reportedly interested in the centre-back, who could be available for a loan move.

The former Saint Etienne man’s new found availability has alerted clubs all across Europe, with Stoke City and West Brom the favourites to land him in England, despite interest from the likes of Inter Milan and Valencia.

Zouma suffered a serious knee injury that kept him out for almost a year, with him returning in January, and he went on to make three starts for Antonio Conte’s side.

It is believed the Italian is ready to let the 22-year-old leave Stamford Bridge on loan this season, so he can rediscover his form and get more match time under his belt, especially with the Blues’ latest acquisition in Antonio Rudiger from Roma this week.

Tony Pulis is keen on adding defensive reinforcements to his squad, having relied upon Gareth McAuley and Jonny Evans in the last Premier League campaign, and sees the Frenchman as an ideal addition.

The Hawthorns outfit have had to fend off interest and bids from rival clubs, such as Leicester City for their Northern Ireland international star, who they hope to tie to a new deal in the coming future.

McAuley, who is 37-years-old, missed just two Premier League games last season, however the possible arrival of Zouma would help ease the pressure on him.

Craig Dawson is the only other recognised centre-back for the Baggies, however he has been played as a make shift right-back in Pulis’ first-team.

Stoke meanwhile would also be able to offer Zouma regular first-team football and his capture would be something of a coup for Mark Hughes’ men.

The Potters have signed Darren Fletcher from West Brom on a free transfer and young defender Josh Tymon from Hull City, but the club’s fans will hope for more new arrivals this summer.

Stoke supporters would surely love to see a top international player at the Bet365 Stadium next season and Zouma’s addition would be one of note.

The transfer tussle is the latest battle between the Potters and West Brom, with Pulis having connections to both clubs, Fletcher leaving one for the other and Saido Berahino’s defection from the Hawthorns to the Potteries unearthing bad blood between the clubs in 2016-17.


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