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Manuel Pellegrini is eyeing up St Etienne central defender Kurt Zouma to rectify serious problems at Manchester City.

The new manager has had to contend with injuries and loss of form to his defensive contingent already this season and is thinking about a £7million deal, report the Sunday People.

Even though Zouma is only 18, the French star is seen as one of the brightest prospects in Europe and able to slot into the Premier League seamlessly.

The France Under 21 international was linked with a move to Liverpool over the summer, but dismissed the prospect.

‘There was a lot of noise about a transfer for me,’ he said in August. ‘I can only say one thing – I will be at St Etienne this season, for sure.’

But as Zouma’s stock rises – he is mature enough to have been an ever-present in Ligue 1 this year – so too does the potential for a switch to one of the continent’s elite.

Pellegrini is keen to add in January and will test St Etienne’s resolve if scout Gary Worthington – who watched the youngster play last week – continued to like what he sees.

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