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Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma is to leave the club on loan this summer and Stoke City have emerged as favourites to sign the 22-year-old on a season-long loan deal.

The French international is expected to sign a new four-year contract with Chelsea before leaving the club on loan and there have been huge interest for the young central defender.

Stoke are expected to beat West Brom to his signature and agree a deal for the 22-year-old that would see them cover his Chelsea wages. Chelsea allowed Zouma to miss pre-season training on Wednesday while he attempted to finalise his loan move.

Zouma is highly rated at Chelsea and was a key player for the Blues before his ill-fated injury against Manchester United that made him miss nine months of football following a serious knee injury.

Since his return, he hasn’t had regular game time and with the signing of Antonio Rudiger, the French international will find himself behind the new signing as well as Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta, David Luiz and Andreas Christensen.

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Chelsea is more than just a football club to me; it's a passion I share, and my affinity with the Chelsea badge is one that will last forever. As far as watching my favourite team is concerned, I'd rather miss a meal than miss a Chelsea game.