Saint-Etienne starlet Kurt Zouma looks set to complete a switch to Chelsea this week, reports suggest.
19-year-old Zouma, who has been at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard since 2009, has forged a reputation as one of European football's brightest young talents with a series of accomplished and mature displays at the heart of Christophe Galtier's defence in Ligue 1.
The France U21 international has endured a spell of controversy this season, however, with Zouma receiving a 10-match ban in November for an ill-timed challenge which broke the leg of Sochaux’s Thomas Guerbert.
Transfer speculation did not appear to cool in the aftermath of that controversial incident, though, with a host of Premier League sides - including defending champions Manchester United - linked with a move for his signature.
Manchester United, who will be without captain Nemanja Vidic for the next three games after the Serbian was sent off during Sunday's 3-1 defeat to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge, will surely be looking to boost their defensive options sooner rather than later given the problems David Moyes has endured in that area since he arrived at Old Trafford during the summer.
Zouma's apparent preference for Chelsea has been made quite clear in recent times, however, and it appears as if the player will get the move he so obviously desires soon.