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Premier League side Everton have given up on signing Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma and have now accepted the defender will stay at Chelsea this season.
Zouma impressed on loan at Everton last season, making 32 Premier League appearances and Everton boss Marco Silva was eager to sign him on a permanent deal this summer.
With Zouma set to stay at Chelsea this season, Everton are making alternative arrangements, and are particularly interested in Philippe Gbamin from German club Mainz, according to the Daily Mirror.
The deal for Gbamin will reportedly cost Everton £30m.
Meanwhile, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard recently revealed he intends to keep Zouma at Chelsea despite Everton’s interest in the defender.
“In terms of Kurt Zouma, he’s a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional,” Lampard said.
“I want him here, simple as that. We are competitive with the centre-backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton. I can understand why they want him. He’s a Chelsea player and I want him.”
Zouma has featured in every preseason game for Chelsea so far and he has welcomed Lampard’s show of faith in him.
Zouma told reporters: “I’m happy with what the manager said about me. That means he is seeing the work I’m doing and I’m very pleased with that.
“We had a chat, and he was very good with me. He is a very good manager.
“I enjoyed my time at Everton but I’m a Chelsea player and we’ll see what will happen now in the future. I think it will be here at Chelsea.
“This is a chance for me. I went out on loan last season but I’m a Chelsea player and I want to do well to get my chance and be here.”