Manchester United have made a shock move for Kurt Zouma, according to reports from France.

Chelsea defender Zouma – known to United boss Jose Mourinho from his previous spell at Stamford Bridge – is the fifth senior defender to be linked to Old Trafford this week after Toby Alderweireld, the senior target, and a collection of others.

While some reports insist that United are trying to work out a loan deal with Bayern Munich for Jerome Boateng, a report from French media tonight has suggested that Mourinho has returned to his former club to enquire about the availability of the 23 year old, 6ft 3inch centre half who spent last year on loan at relegated Stoke City.

Zouma has been capped twice for France but has found it hard to break through at Stamford Bridge, like many youngsters.

Last season, whilst at Stoke, former United defender Ryan Shawcross claimed Zouma was one of the best defenders in the country.

Shawcross told The Sentinel: “He’s quick, he can jump really high, he can pass the ball, he can shoot, he doesn’t get beat one-v-one. He’s like the ultimate defender.

“I think Toby Alderweireld and Kurt are the top two centre halves in the country at the moment.I wasn’t surprised we got him because obviously we’ve got a good link with Chelsea, but I was surprised they let him go just because they’ve not had the greatest starts and I really do think he’s going to turn out to be one of the top centre halves in the country. For them to let him go to us is fantastic for us, but surprising.

“I think Kurt has done brilliantly. He’s played a lot of games previously and it’s a great test for him to come here.”

Whilst that claim is bold, Zouma certainly has bags of potential and in many ways is an ideal Mourinho prototype.