Reports: Everton think they've secured Axel Witsel's signature, Napoli still in the race

Belgium's Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring their second goal

Everton and Napoli are battling for Zenit St. Petersburg star Axel Witsel.

Belgium's Axel Witsel scores their second goalBelgium's Axel Witsel scores their second goal against Ireland

According to The Mirror, Everton believe that they are about to win the race for Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Azel Witsel - but Italian radio station Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli claim the player would prefer to join Napoli.

The Toffees made their first signing under new manager Ronald Koeman over the weekend, as goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg joined the club on a three-year deal from Fulham.

Belgium's Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring their second goal

Now though, Koeman is hoping to improve his midfield, with Gareth Barry now 35 - and whilst he has James McCarthy and Muhamed Besic at his disposal, a Euro 2016 star appears to be on Koeman's wish list.

The Mirror report that Everton believe they have won the race to sign Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, in a deal which could cost around £28.5m.

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

Witsel, 27, has been one of the top midfielders in Europe during his spells with Standard Liege, Benfica and now Zenit St. Petersburg, and could now be closing in on a move to Goodison Park.

Witsel played a key role for Belgium at this summer's European Championships in France, and played 90 minutes in each of their five games as they crashed out in the quarter finals to Wales on Friday.

An athletic, energetic and technically-gifted midfielder, Witsel seems like a good fit for the Premier League, and with Everton having Farhad Moshiri's millions to spend, he could be the first marquee signing to kickstart the new era for the Toffees.

Belgium's Axel Witsel in action with Wales' Joe Allen

However, whilst reports in England suggest Everton are close to a deal, claims in Italy refute that. Radio Kiss Kiss Napoli report that Napoli are still pushing to land Witsel, and he may in fact prefer a move to the Italian side, after his international team-mate and Napoli star Dries Mertens spoke to him about a move to Naples.

The coming days should determine where Witsel is heading, as he seemingly wants to leave Russia and further his career away from Zenit - and Everton are one of the main clubs in the race for his signature.

Do you think Everton will beat Napoli to Witsel's signature?

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