Everton’s hopes of signing Kurt Zouma have been dealt a blow with Chelsea set to keep the defender at Stamford Bridge.
The French international enjoyed a hugely successful loan spell at Goodison Park last season, making 32 appearances for Marco Silva’s side.
Zouma impressed alongside Michael Keane at the heart of the Everton defence, with the club having one of the division’s best defensive records last season.
Having conceded just 46 goals, only the Premier League‘s top four conceded fewer than Silva’s side last season, and the Blues had hoped to secure the 24-year-old on a permanent basis this summer.
However, Chelsea‘s two-window transfer ban is likely to end any hopes of Zouma returning to Merseyside.
According to the Daily Star, Chelsea want to restrict the number of players leaving Stamford Bridge this summer with the club unable to sign replacements.
Zouma’s return could help fill the void left by departing veteran Gary Cahill, with the 33-year-old leaving Chelsea after a successful six-and-a-half year spell in West London.