West Ham signs defender Kurt Zouma from Chelsea

LONDON (AP) — West Ham signed France center back Kurt Zouma from Chelsea on Saturday in a deal worth around $35 million.

The 26-year-old Zouma won two Premier League titles and a Champions League title with Chelsea and brings the experience West Ham manager David Moyes was looking for to strengthen his defense.

“My conversation with the manager went very fast,” Zouma said. “I just felt like he really wanted me to come and join the team, especially a good team that’s started the season very, very well.

“With the great season that West Ham had last year, that gave the team a lot of confidence to improve this year — and I want to help the team do that.”

Moyes was keen to add to his squad with the added burden of being in the Europa League.

“He is a player we have tracked for some time, and we have taken great care and diligence to make the transfer happen,” Moyes said. “He was always our first choice and I am very happy that he is now our player.

“Kurt will join a squad full of players who are hungry and ambitious. He will provide competition to our squad. He is a strong, powerful player with great experience in the Premier League while he is also at a good age for a center back.”

West Ham has enjoyed a strong start to the season with two wins and a draw in the league.

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