Chelsea are close to completing a deal to sign defender Kurt Zouma from St Etienne, according to Sky Sports.

The 19-year-old defender is expected to complete his switch to Stamford Bridge, before being loaned back to the Ligue 1 club for the remainder of the season.

Zouma is expected to sign a five year deal at Stamford Bridge, with Chelsea said to have agreed a fee in the region of £12.5million.

The transfer would make Chelsea the biggest spenders in the January transfer window so far.

Jose Mourinho has already spent big money to bring Nemanja Matic and Mohamed Salah to the club, and the imminent arrival of Zouma is expected to push their spending past the £45million mark.

Zouma has been linked with a host of top clubs across Europe, despite being hit with a lengthy ban in November for a challenge that broke an opponents leg.

The France youth international came to everyone’s attention when he played a starring role in the team that won the Under-20 World Cup last year.

When asked about Zouma last week, Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho said: “As you can see, Chelsea thinks about the future and when we think about the future, we have scouting, we have contacts, we contact clubs, we contact agents, we contact players that we have permission from clubs, which is the case obviously.

“We try to be in control of the situation, but we think we are doing well.”