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Manchester United to bid for French wonderkid, but face Chelsea competition

Manchester United are looking to bid for Saint-Etienne's Kurt Zouma, but will probably face competition from Chelsea and Monaco, as well as potentially Manchester City, in doing so.

Alex Livesey

On the fifth day of the January transfer window, my true love gave to me...

Five leg-breakers,

Four box-to-boxers, three Basque midfielders, two German wingers, and a Scottish playmaker.

Manchester United will add to their January transfer window plans by bidding for Kurt Zouma in January, according to reports.

The Saint-Etienne centre-back is just 19 but has been first choice for his club for some time and is on the verge of breaking into the French national team, although is in the midst of a 10-game ban for a horror challenge on an opponent.

Comparisons have been made to Raphael Varane, another young French defender United missed out on, although they are not exactly the same type of player. Their talent level is certainly comparable, but Zouma is a more aggressive type - perhaps slightly more erratic but also much more of an athlete. There's little doubt he should be able to adapt to the Premier League fairly quickly.

The problem is that the competition will be quite fierce - Chelsea have been named among his admirers, while AS Monaco also desperately need defensive reinforcements and Manchester City will be keeping track too. If they're serious, and United haven't already won the race for the player's heart, then it might be difficult - United could use Zouma, but probably not as much as either of those three teams could.