By Coral Barry

Juventus are hopeful they will beat Everton to the signature of the Axel Witsel despite the fact they have offered £12.7million less than the Toffees for the player, according to a report.

Witsel has already made his intentions clear this summer about leaving Zenit St Petersburg and it believed to be at the very top of Ronald Koeman’s wishlist.

However, Sky Italy journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claimed on his website that while Everton have bid £25.4million for Witsel, Juventus could win the race because that is the preferred destination of the player.

The Serie A champions have yet to lodge a formal bid for the midfielder, but have suggested a £15million transfer fee to the club’s representatives.

The report says that Zenit are not interested in Juventus’ offer while Everton’s massively better bid remains on the table.

Witsel is believed to prefer a move to Italy rather than link up with Koeman in England and it is the player’s wishes that have given Juventus such confidence in their pursuit.

Koeman has yet to get going in the transfer market this summer, but the new boss is expected to make additions before the window shuts.

In other Everton news, the Toffees have been offered £1million for a player they paid £13.5million for in January.