Report: Stoke to use lessons from Shaqiri and bide their time in bid to sign Axel Witsel

Belgium's Axel Witsel in action with Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan

The Potters are keen on Belgium international Witsel.

Belgium's Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring their second goal

Stoke City will use the lessons they learnt from signing Xherdan Shaqiri and play the waiting game to attempt to lure Belgium star Axel Witsel to the Britannia Stadium, according to a report from the Mirror.

The Potters are keen on signing the 27-year-old midfielder this summer to bolster their midfield, but with just a single year left on the star's contract at Zenit St. Petersburg they are likely to face stiff competition for his signature.

Everton have been one of the other clubs reported as tracking the star, who has impressed for his country so far throughout Euro 2016.

Belgium's Axel Witsel in action with Republic of Ireland's Wes Hoolahan

According to the Mirror report Witsel is currently unsure about leaving Russia this summer, but Stoke are though to be planning to use the same patient approach which secured them the signature of Shaqiri.

The Switzerland star twice turned down a move to the Britannia and the deal looked close to collapse before the Potters ultimately managed to persuade the Inter Milan man to make the switch to England last summer.

Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri in action

Stoke are hoping that by biding their time in a similar manner they will be able to convince Witsel that his future lies at the Premier League club as they look to strengthen their already impressive midfield.

The Potters signed Shaqiri and Ibrahim Afellay last summer, before the club-record capture of Giannelli Imbula in the January transfer window added another layer of quality to their side.

Witsel would surely be another strong signing for Mark Hughes' side as they look to make the leap from upper-mid-table club to genuine European challengers next season.

Belgium's Axel Witsel scores their second goal

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