Chelsea are firmly embedded in a three-way fight with Inter Milan and Monaco for Saint Etienne defender Kurt Zouma, according to the player’s agent.

The 19-year-old centre-back is widely thought of as one of French football’s finest young talents, and is already a Ligue 1 regular despite his young age.

The Blues have been linked with his signature for some time, with Jose Mourinho thought to be a major fan of his combative playing style – which landed him with a 10-match ban earlier this season.

However, the Portuguese coach faces a fight for the enforcer, with Inter Milan and Monaco watching his progress closely.

Zouma’s agent, David Venditelli, says that the scrap for his client primarily involves these three teams, but that other sides are interested:

“Serie A is an interesting destination, as are Inter, for the tactical growth of the lad,” he is quoted by The Express.

“Of course he wouldn’t mind moving to the Premier League, hopefully to Chelsea, where he could work with Jose Mourinho or to Monaco in Ligue 1.

“There were other sides interested, such as Newcastle, but now it’s a three-horse race.”

Mourinho is rumoured to be searching for a long-term successor to John Terry, and is also looking at Porto’s Eliquim Mangala.