Date: 16th May 2019 at 6:01pm
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Director of Football Marcel Brands has been dealt a double setback in the summer transfer market, as the Evening Standard understand Chelsea will not consider selling Kurt Zouma, while Tammy Abraham has rejected our advances.

The Chelsea-owned duo, along with Ola Aina, are the only players Blues boss Maurizio Sarri is thought to be considering for his plans ahead of next season, despite the Stamford Bridge outfit offloading 41 players on temporary deals at some stage of the 2018/19 campaign.

Brands, and boss Marco Silva, had hoped to convince the South West London side to sell Zouma to us on the back of an impressive season at Goodison Park, but a deal now seems impossible with Sarri set to offer the 24-year-old a role.

A place in his side has now emerged for Zouma, as the former Napoli manager is set to lose Gary Cahill once the former England international’s contract expires next month, while a transfer ban will prevent the Pensioners from making any signings.

Abraham, on the other hand, is set to offer the Italian manager another forward next term on the back of shining at Villa Park, and scoring the decisive penalty in Aston Villa’s Play-Off Semi-Final win over West Bromwich Albion on Tuesday, which secured the Villains a place in the Final against Derby County.

We, along with Wolverhampton Wanderers, RB Leipzig, and Villa, had supposedly shown interest in making a move if he had no future at Stamford Bridge, but the £50,000-a-week 21-year-old is prioritising the opportunity to make an impact at the 2019 Europa League finalists, instead.

“As a young kid, I’ve always believed I will play for Chelsea,” Abraham said. “I think I have the ability, I just have to grab the opportunity when it comes.”

During his season on loan in Birmingham, the 6 ft 2 forward has scored 26 goals in 39 games, as well as registering three assists.

Attentions on Merseyside will now likely turn to alternative options to support the likes of Michael Keane and Dominic Calvert-Lewin, such as the Everton-linked Djene Dakonam and Birmingham’s Che Adams.