Report: Everton offer record-breaking contract to Axel Witsel, Stoke City snubbed

Belgium's Axel Witsel reacts as Wales celebrate at full time

Everton are closing in on the signing of Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel.

Belgium's Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring their second goalBelgium's Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring their second goal against Ireland

According to The Mirror, Everton are prepared to make Zenit St. Petersburg ace Axel Witsel the highest-paid player in the club's history.

The Toffees have money to spend this summer thanks to the investment of Farhad Moshiri, and Ronald Koeman made his first signing as Everton boss on Friday evening, with goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg signing a three-year deal at Goodison Park.

Belgium's Axel Witsel reacts as Wales celebrate at full time

Goalkeeper was a real area of concern for Koeman following Tim Howard's move back to the United States with Colorado Rapids, and another potential area that needs attention is in midfield.

Gareth Barry is now 35, James McCarthy had an up-and-down season, whilst Muhamed Besic has failed to establish himself as a consistent starter at Goodison Park, prompting Koeman to look for another midfielder this summer.

Football Soccer - Switzerland v Belgium - International Friendly - Geneva, Switzerland

Now, The Mirror report that Koeman has set his sights on Zenit St. Petersburg star Axel Witsel - and Everton are ready to offer him a record-breaking contract to lure him to Merseyside.

Witsel, 27, has been starring for Belgium at this summer's European Championships in France, and now looks set to leave Russia after four years with Zenit, and Everton are ready to win the race with a £28.5m bid and wages of £120,000-a-week - shattering the club's record in terms of wages paid to one player.

Picture Supplied by Action Images

With a club record salary on offer for Witsel, he appears to be edging towards a move to Goodison Park, and he's even told Premier League rivals Stoke City that he has no interest in a move to join Mark Hughes' men, as he is keen on Everton.

Napoli are also believed to be out of the race for Witsel, and whilst Roma aren't giving up hope just yet, a move to Everton appears to be moving closer.

Do you think Witsel is worth the money on offer?

Register for EVERTON team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch