By Will Butcher
Everton target Axel Witsel is set to be offered a new contract by European giants Zenit St. Petersburg, after failing to secure a move during the transfer window, according to a report.
The Mail claimed earlier in the summer that the Toffees had had a £25million bid for Axel Witsel accepted by Zenit St Petersburg, with less than 12 months remaining on the former Standard Liege man’s contract.
That move didn’t materialise and a late move to Juventus also fell through.
Russian newspaper Izvestia claims that a source from the club has revealed that they now want Witsel to sign a new deal, so they can maximise their return when the 27-year-old leaves.
Zenit paid £34million for Witsel in 2012 and want to recoup as much of that as possible. If he doesn’t sign a contract it’s likely he’ll go at a cut-price or he might even run his contract down and leave for free.
It is said that Witsel is not entertaining contract talks at the moment, and is still upset that his move to Juventus didn’t go through.
Speaking to Izvestia, Zenit’s former sporting director Konstantin Sarsaniya believes that Zenit chiefs will try to renew the former Benfica midfielder’s contract at any price after losing stars Ezequiel Garay and Hulk.
“I am sure that St. Petersburg will do everything possible in order to sign a new contract with Witsel,” Sarsaniya told Izvestia.
In other Everton news, this youngster wants to replicate Seamus Coleman’s career.