Not Diego Costa, Antonio Conte at war with Chelsea defender


Chelsea manager Antonio Conte is reportedly at odds with defender Kurt Zouma, who is reluctant to pursue a loan spell outside of the Premier League.

The France international has been sparingly used by the Blues over the past year, and according to L’Equipe, Conte is said to favour the centre-back returning to Ligue 1 on a temporary basis for next season.

Nice, Lyon and Marseille are among the main admirers for the former Saint-Etienne man, but Zouma is keen to play hardball with his desire to remain in the top flight.

Zouma has previously iterated his ambition to fight for his place in the France national setup, and a move is likely to be sorted out in the coming weeks with Chelsea having already agreed to sign Roma’s Antonio Rudiger.

Rudiger is set to have his medical at the Blues-organised medical facility in Los Angeles, and the deal will be announced shortly thereafter.

Zouma was largely restricted to the Cup competitions last term with Conte opting to stick with the likes of Gary Cahill, Cesar Azpilicueta and David Luiz at the heart of the backline.