Italian sports outlet understands Inter have taken lead in race to sign Witsel

Belgium's Axel Witsel scores their second goal

Everton look set to be disappointed in their chase of Axel Witsel, after Inter Milan reportedly agree a fee with Zenit for his services.

Picture Supplied by Action Images - Belgium's Axel WitselInter 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 celebrates after scoring 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.

Belgium's Axel Witsel celebrates after scoring their second goalWitsel 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.

New manager Ronald Koeman during the press conferenceWill Ronald Foeman consider a move for Brozovic?

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