Inter Milan have reportedly had a bid for Axel Witsel accepted
Everton have received a blow in their pursuit of Zenit St Petersburg's Belgian international Axel Witsel with Italian news outlet Gazzetta dello Sport reporting that Serie A giants Inter Milan have agreed a free of £18.5 million with the Russian outfit.
The Merseyside outfit's protracted efforts to bring Witsel to Goodison Park now looks to have ended in failure.
Gazzetta dello Sport also go on to report how the transfer should be finalised within the next week, and that Inter boss Roberto Mancini is prepared to sacrifice Croatian midfielder Marcelo Brozovic to finance the deal.
Inter Milan's Marcelo Brozovic could be the ideal alternative for Everton
The newspaper claim that the 23-year-old will not be allowed to leave the San Siro for anything less than £21 million. If he is indeed available, maybe the Blues sould turn their attention to the Croatian?
He would command a fee similar to what would have been required to snare Witsel, and the fact that he is four years younger than the Belgian arguably points to a move for Brozovic actually representing far more value.
Witsel has been the subject of interest from some of Europe's top clubs
The Inter man can play in midfield or in a more attacking role, either centrally or wide right, and would bring both quality and versatility to Ronald Koeman's side.
If Inter's deal for Witsel is sealed shortly, the Merseysiders should waste no time in moving for Brozovic.
Should any kind of move for the Croatian materialise, it would go a long way towards helping the Everton fans quickly forget about what could have been, had they been successful in their pursuit of the Belgian international.
Will Ronald Foeman consider a move for Brozovic?