By Paul Clennam
Manchester City are considering a move for 19-year-old St. Etienne sensation Kurt Zouma, Goal understands.
Chief executive Ferran Soriano and Sporting Director Txiki Begiristain are big fans of the France Under-21 star and have earmarked him as an ideal solution to bolstering City’s depleted defensive line-up.
City are hopeful that they could secure him for around £10 million after having conducted initial talks with the French club.
The Etihad Stadium outfit have also made informal enquiries over Porto pair Eliaquim Mangala and Nicolas Otamendi but have found the Portuguese outfit reluctant to sell two of their most high-profile assets.
Zouma, who is currently banned until February after breaking Sochaux midfielder Thomas Guerbert’s leg earlier this month, has been watched closely by City’s chief scout Gary Worthington and is seen as a cheaper alternative.
Chelsea are also known to be interested in the youngster but City, who have been hit by injuries to Vincent Kompany, Matija Nastasic, Micah Richards and new boy Martin Demichelis so far this term, are desperate to increase their strength-in-depth at the back.
Manuel Pellegrini has not been put off by the 19-year-old’s 10-game ban and is working closely with both Soriano and Begiristain ahead of the January transfer window.
Zouma made his professional debut for St. Etienne at the age of 16 and has since played over 50 games for the Ligue 1 club, attracting interest from a host of top European clubs in the process.