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West Ham Set To Bid £20m For Zouma

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West Ham are set to bid £20million for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma with the Frenchman preferring to move across London rather than being a makeweight in a deal for Jules Kounde, Daily Mail reports.

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.

David Moyes side 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.

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Man United Determine To Keep Lingard, Solskjaer Insists

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Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, has said the club is determined to keep Jesse Lingard.

Lingard’s contract expires at the end of the season. This means the 28-year-old will be free to talk to clubs abroad as early as January.

The United academy product impressed on loan at West Ham last season and returns to the London Stadium with United on Sunday.

However, he has fallen down Solskjaer’s pecking order and was at fault for the late goal the Red Devils conceded in their 2-1 defeat to Young Boys in the Champions League on Tuesday.

But Solskjaer said: “He’s got this season left of his contract and the club is talking to him and his dad, and we see him as a United player in the future as well.

“We really want to see the best of Jesse this season and we hope to see him. We support him, and we hope to keep him here with us. He’s a Red through and through.”

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I’ve No Issue With Leno, Says Arteta

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Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta, has denied reports that Bernd Leno reacted badly to being dropped for their 1-0 victory over Norwich in the Premier League.

Arteta insists Leno responded like a “top professional” in training.

Aaron Ramsdale was picked to start the game at the Emirates last Saturday, as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s goal sealed the Gunners’ first win of the campaign.

Ramsdale is yet to concede a goal since his arrival, after keeping a clean sheet on his debut in their 6-0 win over West Brom in the Carabao Cup.

Speaking ahead of Arsenal’s trip to Burnley this weekend, Arteta refused to reveal which goalkeeper would be given the nod.

“It’s the same in every position. We want them to make each other better.

“We are competing against the opponent and we are not competing against each other here.

“We’re just trying to bring players that can raise the level of the players that play in the position, the level of the team, the level of the club and this is the only ‘reason.

“Obviously, for Bernd, it wasn’t a pleasing communication when I told him that he wasn’t playing but he’s a top professional and a top person and he should be disappointed and he should support his team-mates like they have all done with him every time he’s played. And that’s exactly what he’s done,” he told reporters at his pre-match press conference on Thursday.

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Reece James’ Champions League, Euro 2020 Medals Stolen

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Champions League and Euro 2020 medals belonging to Chelsea defender, Reece James, were stolen from his house on Tuesday evening.

The robbery took place during their Champions League group game against Zenit St Petersburg.

James featured prominently as the Blues were crowned champions of Europe last season, before helping England reach the Euro 2020 final, where they lost to Italy.

The 21-year-old confirmed the burglary on Instagram and posted CCTV footage of the burglary.

“I never keep any jewellery of mine in my house so all that was contained in the safe were my Champions League winners medal and Super Cup winners medal and the runners up medal for the Euro 2020,” he wrote.

James added that “the police, my advisers and Chelsea FC (and many others) are all behind me as we have firm leads on who the perpetrators are. We are closing in on them.”

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