West Ham are set to bid £20million for Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma with the defender preferring to move across London than be a makeweight in a deal for Jules Kounde.
Zouma, 26, has been linked with a move away from Stamford Bridge as Chelsea pursue Sevilla and France centre-back Kounde ahead of the new season.
The Hammers are poised to make an opening bid but it is likely to be beneath Chelsea’s valuation.
Zouma is settled in London and, as it stands, would welcome a move to another club in the capital ahead of being part of any potential swap deal for Kounde.
Kounde, 22, has a buy-out clause of £68.4million and three years remaining on his contract but cash-strapped Sevilla are open to selling him this summer.
They have already rejected a proposal from Tottenham of cash plus defender Davinson Sanchez but that hasn’t deterred Chelsea from trying to strike a cash-plus-player deal.
Chelsea signed Zouma from French club Saint-Etienne for around £12m back in January 2014. He has since played 150 games for the club but has also been loaned out to Stoke City and Everton.
In that time, Zouma has won two Premier League titles, the League Cup and the Champions League.
Having been a regular starter at centre-back under Frank Lampard in the first half of last season, he fell out of favour when Thomas Tuchel took over in January.
He remained an unused substitute in both the FA Cup final defeat to Leicester City and the Champions League final win over Manchester City.