Axel Witsel will become a Chelsea player this summer if club owner Roman Abramovich has anything to do with it.
Reports earlier this week indicated how the Russian billionaire had flown to his home country in an effort to treat with Zenit Saint Petersburg over a possible deal for the Belgian star, and the latest rumours from Italy provide a timely update to that speculation.
According to Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport Abramovich has agreed to pay €34million for Witsel, and has a verbal deal with Zenit director Alexander Dukov.
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If true it means that the likes of Paris Saint-Germain and AC Milan - Witsel’s other suitors - are going to have to significantly step up their game if they’re going to stand a chance of beating Chelsea to their target
Witsel has already made it clear he’s looking to leave Russia this summer, and it’s likely he’ll jump at the chance to move to Stamford Bridge if he’s offered a contract by Jose Mourinho.
Abramovich in on the act
Of course nothing has been formally finalised as of yet, and it remains to be seen if Mourinho’s passion for signing Witsel is as a strong as Abramovich’s clearly is.
One would assume that if the Chelsea owner is jet-setting across Europe to try and sort out transfer deals he’s already conferred with his manager as to whether or not the player in question is needed, and it could just be that Abramovich saw an opportunity to help out if he has relations with Dukov already.
That said one gets the feeling that Mourinho isn’t a man who will tolerate interference from those above him, particularly when it includes meddling directly in team affairs. Witsel will be an astute purchase, no doubt, but do the Blues really need him?
Chelsea fans, what do you think to Abramovich recruiting Witsel? Let us know in the comments box below.