Chelsea join race to sign Zenit St Petersburg's Axel Witsel

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Chelsea are reportedly lining up a move for Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel.

According to the Daily Mail, the Blues have entered the race to sign the Belgian, who has been strongly linked with a move to Chelsea's Premier League rivals Everton. 

The club's number one target this summer is Witsel's international teammate Radja Nainggolan, but with Roma rejecting all of Chelsea's bids so far, they may be forced to look elsewhere if a reported third bid fails this week.  


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The Toffees had been favourites to sign Witsel, with a number of their current midfielders expected to leave this summer.

The Merseyside club have already lost Leon Osman and Steven Pienaar with the duo's contracts expiring at Goodison Park, with Gareth Barry's future also uncertain.

Newly appointed boss Ronald Koeman has a tough start to his reign, with the challenge of rebuilding his side after they had a disappointing campaign last year under the guidance of Roberto Martinez.

Witsel is currently on international duty with Belgium at Euro 2016, and helped his side to an emphatic 4-0 victory over Hungary in the first knockout round of the tournament. They will now face Wales in the quarter-finals, a side that have been a surprise package in France.   

Should Chelsea fail in their bid to sign Nainggolan, then Witsel would be a solid alternative.

He made 28 league appearances for Zenit, failing to feature in just two games as they finished third in the table.

The 27-year-old joined his current club in 2012, and might want a different challenge after spending four seasons in Russia.   

Chelsea no longer have the offer of Champions League football to lure the best players away from their clubs, and should Witsel want a guaranteed place in his new side's starting line-up, he may be more tempted to choose Everton, rather than challenge for his place in a Chelsea team. 

Would Axel Witsel make a good signing for Chelsea? Let us know YOUR thoughts in the comment section below!

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