Blues are hoping to do a deal to secure the highly-rated centre-half before Friday's deadline but his French club insist they are in no rush to sell.

Chelsea boss Joe Mourinho is in a price war with St Etienne over their centre-half Kurt Zouma.

Mourinho wants the French hardman to be his new defensive enforcer, but Les Verts are looking for more than £18million to part with him.

The Stamford Bridge chief has been after Zouma since he returned for a second stint in charge last summer - as we first revealed - and Mourinho has even called him to tell him he is a top target.

The Londoners would like to close a deal now, then leave the 19-year-old in France for the rest of the season, but St Etienne’s valuation is putting them off.

St Etienne co-president Roland Romeyer said: “Some clubs have launched a bid for the player, but we will not change our strategy.