Chelsea transfer news: Serie A giants launch ambitious bid to prise defender away from Stamford Bridge

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Napoli are reportedly considering a loan move for Chelsea defender Kurt Zouma, taking advantage of a possible lack of playing time at Stamford Bridge.

The 22-year-old is continuing his recovery after sustaining a serious knee injury earlier this year, and is closing in on a return to action for the first team under Antonio Conte.

However, according to SportMediaset, Napoli could swoop for him in a loan move in January to bolster their defensive options as Maurizio Sarri looks to add cover with Kalidou Koulibaly heading to the African Cup of Nations.

It would be a surprise to see Chelsea allow Zouma to leave for any period of time given that he has been tipped for a big future in west London.

However, with the likes of David Luiz, Cesar Azpilicueta and Gary Cahill ahead of him in the pecking order for Conte’s three-man defence, it could prove difficult for him to get his place back in the second half of the season and it’s essential for him to build his fitness.

John Terry and Branislav Ivanovic are also at Conte’s disposal and so the Italian tactician does have significant cover if any of his starters suffer injuries.

Nevertheless, letting Zouma leave now could send a negative message to him and in turn could leave the door open to a more permanent exit from Stamford Bridge in the near future if he is offered first-team assurances elsewhere.

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