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Report: Axel Witsel's move to Everton collapses, switch to Italy now close

Belgium's Axel Witsel scores their second goal

Everton have been heavily linked with Axel Witsel.

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

According to Gianluca Di Marzio, Axel Witsel is close to joining Napoli after a deal to Everton collapsed.

The report claims that negotiations with the Toffees came to a halt, paving the way for Napoli to come in and strike an agreement with the midfielder’s current club Zenit Saint Petersburg.

Everton have already experienced an interesting summer, what with Ronald Koeman becoming the club’s new manager after opting to walk away from Southampton and moving to Goodison Park.

Belgium's Axel Witsel scores their second goal

The Toffees endured a disappointing campaign last term, and heading in to the summer a number of supporters felt the club needed a new goalkeeper, midfielder and winger among other positions.

The Merseyside club, backed by wealthy owner Farhad Moshiri, have a bright future yet right now they appear to be struggling to bring in those quality players which wil help them progress.

Witsel has been heavily linked with a move to Everton for much of the summer, but it seems they are now set to miss out on him after negotiations collapsed for one reason or another.

Belgium's Romelu Lukaku celebrates with Axel Witsel after scoring their third goal

The latest reports from Italy suggest Napoli and Zenit are working over the final details of a proposed £19.6 million bid plus bonuses, while a four-year contract has all-but been agreed with Witsel.

The Belgium international is exactly the sort of holding midfielder Everton currently lack in the ranks, and now Koeman will have to seek alternatives ahead of the new season.

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

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