The agent of Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel has told reporters that he met with Napoli for talks while also claiming Everton’s interest is concrete as negotiations continue, Gianluca Di Marzio report.
The Belgium international midfielder has become one of the hottest prospects on the market this summer as it appears his three-and-a-half year stint in Russia is coming to an end.
Witsel originally joined Zenit from Benfica in 2012, but after a disappointing final season the midfielder is seemingly ready to move to one of Europe’s big leagues with the Premier League a genuine candidate.
The 27-year-old has been linked with a move to Stoke City (Stoke Sentinel), yet now it looks as if Everton are the English club pushing hardest for his signature with the player’s agent labelling their intentions as concrete.
“It's true I met with (Napoli sporting director) Giuntoli in Bruxelles, it was a positive discussion and there could be interest by both parties so we'll see how things evolve,” his agent said of Napoli’s interest.
“Everton's interest is concrete like Napoli's so the negotiation is on going and to see if the marriage happens we have to see the conditions, we need to understand what is the best destination for the player.”
The Toffees are in the market for new players this summer following the arrival of Ronald Koeman as boss and Witsel would certainly improve a midfield which is lacking in steel and bite.
With Gareth Barry ageing and Tom Cleverley plus James McCarthy somewhat inconsistent, Witsel would be a big improvement in that area and a signing which could make a telling difference.
The former Standard Liege man is currently on international duty with Belgium where he has started all five of his nation’s European Championship encounters thus far.