Chelsea switch sights to Micah Richards and Kurt Zouma

Chelsea have turned their attention to Micah Richards and Kurt Zouma as they look to bolster their defensive options.

Jose Mourinho is keen to bolster his backline this summer with David Luiz linked with a move to Barcelona and John Terry reaching the latter stages of his career.

Eliaquim Mangala was the number one summer target for Chelsea but a deal for the 22 year old has been shelved for the moment with Porto refusing to discuss a deal.

Chelsea were keen on the French International but Porto have insisted that the player will not move until a club agrees to pay his release clause believed to be €50 million euro, something which Jose Mourinho is not willing to do.

That has seen club shift their targets somewhat with Richards emerging as a target for Chelsea. The link comes after the England defender rejected Manchester City’s latest contract offer.

The 25 year olds current deal expires in 2015 and according to TalkSPORT the player has rejected the club’s latest offer. New manager Manuel Pellegrini is keen to avoid a scenario whereby Richard begins next season with a year left on his deal and the club could cash in this summer.

That has alerted Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho who rates the versatile defender highly and is believed to be preparing a bid to bring the player to London.

St. Etienne defender Zouma is also on Chelsea’s radar with the 18 year old rated as one of the best young defenders in Europe.

The French under-20 International would cost in the region of €10 million Euro, a sum Mourinho is more than happy to pay.

The player, currently playing with his country at the Under-20 World Cup, has opened the door for a move to London after admitting he was flattered to be linked with Chelsea.

“If you hear of interest from Chelsea and a great manager such as Jose Mourinho, you take notice,” said Zouma.

“It makes you happy, and it means you are on the right way to the top.

It’s unlikely that Zouma would be ready for the first team just yet but with AC Milan and Bayern Munich also interested the club could move this summer with a loan move then a viable option.

Trevor Keane is an Irish based sports writer and the author of Gaffers, 50 years of Irish Managers and Running through Walls, the Dave Langan Story.