Chelsea boss Frank Lampard has confirmed that he is hoping to keep Kurt Zouma as part of his first-team squad for the coming campaign, report Football London.

The BBC reported at the tail end of June that signing Zouma on a permanent basis was high on Everton’s list of priorities for the current summer transfer window.

Zouma spent the 2018/19 campaign on-loan with the Toffees and emerged as one of the best centre-backs in the country. It’s no surprise they’re keen to keep him.

However, Everton will have to get past Chelsea head coach Frank Lampard if they want to have any chance of securing a deal to sign the Frenchman this summer.

Lampard is quoted by Football London confirming that he wants to keep Zouma around this term, rather than loaning him out again or selling him permanently:

“In terms of Kurt Zouma, he’s a very good defender for us, very good player, very good person and professional. I want him here, simple as that. We are competitive with the centre-backs we have in the team and he had a very good season at Everton and I can understand why they want him. He’s a Chelsea player and I want him. I want him to be happy and he’s working really hard. If he competes for a position and plays well, he plays.”

Zouma deserves another opportunity to establish himself here, having proved his worth out on-loan. Whether he will be keen to stick around remains to be discovered.