Everton were favourites to land Belgium’s midfield powerhouse Axel Witsel at the Goodison Park, before Chelsea showed their interest in the player. According to The Sun, Antonio Conte has made Witsel one of his transfer targets to strengthen the midfield.
Chelsea is expected to offer almost double of what he earns at Zenit St. Petersburg, £80,000-a-week, once a deal is finalized. The Russian club is expected to ask for a fee of around £28 million, same as the deal which was to be finalized with Everton.
Axel Witsel had a very fine EURO 2016, thus the reason why a lot of clubs are showing interest in him. The Belgian midfielder played a total of 450 minutes in the European competition and managed an astounding passing accuracy of 92.1%.
A player of his calibre with box-to-box attributes would ideally fit anywhere in Conte’s midfield. The 27-year-old might not be one of the biggest names when it comes to midfield players, but his work rate has been really impressive both for the club and his country. He is a very calm and composed player when it comes to his dominance in the midfield.
Everton believed nothing stood in their way to sign the player, but Chelsea’s last minute effort has led to a hold on contract talks, as Witsel himself feels interested in a switch to Stamford Bridge. Since Chelsea and Conte are still undecided over Matic’s future and with Juventus interested in him, he is likely to depart from the club only to make space for Axel Witsel.