Multiple media sources are reporting that Everton have reached an agreement with Russian club Zenit St. Petersburg for Axel Witsel. The transfer fee is claimed to be up to £30m for the midfielder who was with Belgium in the Euro 2016 tournament. The Belgians were knocked out yesterday by Wales in an upset, with Witsel having an unremarkable game.
Sources close to the club have said that new owner Farhad Moshiri has been looking to announce himself with a marquee signing, and has promised manager Ronald Koeman a £100m warchest to stock the club with.
Witsel’s father has been speaking to the media, and addressed Napoli’s interest in his son.
“It’s true I met with (Napoli sporting director) Cristiano Giuntoli in Brussels. It was a positive discussion and there could be interest by both parties, so we’ll see how things evolve.
“Everton’s interest is concrete, like Napoli’s, so the negotiation is ongoing, and to see if the marriage happens we have to see the conditions and understand what is the best destination for the player.”
The Blues have been linked with fellow midfielders Morgan Schneiderlin and Juan Mata, but so far it’s the Witsel chatter that has been the loudest. Everton are prepared to meet Witsel’s wage demands, and will be offering a contract for over £100,000 a week, easily making him the Blues highest earner.
With Belgium now having exited the premier European competition, we can expect a firm answer about the Toffees’ interest in the player sooner than later.
Updated 4:00pm BST, 2nd July 2016