New Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is keen on Zenit St.Petersburg midfield dynamo, Axel Witsel, as other targets are proving hard to prise from their clubs.
Chelsea’s persistent pursuit of Roma star Radja Nainggolan may come to nothing this summer after the Italian giants reportedly turned down a third bid from The Blues over the last week.
And his Belgium compatriot Axel Witsel could be next on the menu for Chelsea, according to some areas of the British press.
The Daily Mail notes:
Chelsea join Everton in race to sign Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel
The 27-year-old Belgium midfielder is a super player who has become a regular starter for his country with 69 caps and 7 goals since his debut in 2008.
He may not have the same goal threat from distance as Nainggolan but TFF imagines that he would quickly win over the local crowd with his power, mobility and technique.
Witsel has played 156 times for Zenit since his £32m move from Benfica in 2012. He has scored 21 goals which is impressive for a player who is essentially an anchor man.
If Chelsea do manage to push through a deal for one of these two it will only increase the speculation surrounding the future of Nemanja Matić, who has been regularly linked with a move to Manchester United since Jose Mourinho took the hot seat.
The 27-year-old Serbia international has fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge after a masterful first 18 months at the club.
Whoever the club signs this summer, Chelsea fans can only be buoyed by the performances of Italy at EURO 2016 after Conte has overseen a tactical masterclass at the tournament.