radja nainggolan

Reports are circulating that Chelsea have turned their attentions to Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel as they look to bolster their options ahead of next season.

Having been linked with Witsel’s compatriot Radja Nainngolan for much of the summer, it has emerged that a third bid of as much as £33 million for the AS Roma star was rejected this week – leaving the Stamford Bridge hierarchy with little option but to look elsewhere for midfield options.

Everton are also interested in the midfielder, who joined Zenit St-Petersburg from Benfica for a hefty fee back – around £32 million – in 2012.

“An ideal fit”

The Belgian played a starring role in Zenit’s Russian Cup victory over CSKA Moscow back in May, and would certainly bring a more dynamic box-to-box energy that current midfield options in Nemanja Matic, Cesc Fabregas and John Mikel Obi do not possess.

It was rumoured that, prior to his move to Zenit, the Blues had been interested in Witsel back in the summer of 2012. Then-Chelsea midfield star, and former Benfica team-mate of Witsel, Ramires said that the Belgian would be ‘an ideal fit’ for a Premier League side.

With our recommendation of best betting apps, you can have your say on how the Blues will fare under Antonio Conte next season. Will Witsel be lining up in Chelsea colours alongside compatriots Eden Hazard and Thibaut Courtois?

Witsel takes to the stage this Friday as the Euro 2016 campaign reaches the quarter-final stage. His Belgium side will be taking on Gareth Bale and Wales in Lille, with the reward for the victor a semi-final tussle with Portugal, who defeated Poland on penalties last night.

Remarkably, Portugal have reached the last four despite finishing third in their group, and without winning a game in normal time. Nevertheless, Cristiano Ronaldo and company would be Belgium and Witsel’s toughest test yet – but first they have to topple the Welsh on Friday evening.

Alex has been a Chelsea fan for two decades. Since a very young age, he's followed the Blues both home and away. His favourite-ever Chelsea players are Roberto di Matteo, Carlo Cudicini, Eidur Gudjohnsen, Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard, and Petr Cech.

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