By Amir Mir

Everton’s pursuit of Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel has hit a stumbling block over the player’s contract demands, according to a report.

The Liverpool Echo claim negotiations with the Belgium international are proving difficult and the club are prepared to walk away from the deal.

It is said the Merseyside club have now enquired about Newcastle’ s £35million rated midfielder Moussa Sissoko as a possible alternative, if a deal cannot be reached with Witsel.

The 27-year-old has reportedly snubbed interest from Premier League rivals Chelsea, and Italian giants Napoli and Inter Milan in a bid to make a £30 million switch to Goodison Park.

The Blues have been chasing the midfielder since mid-June, but issues over the players contract have dented their hopes of landing their transfer target.

New Everton manager, Ronald Koeman wants to inject the side’s midfield with a top-class addition this summer.

Witsel has made it clear he wants to leave Zenit St Petersburg this summer, while Sissoko has publicly stated his desire to move on following Newcastle’s relegation.

Sissoko endured a disappointing season at St James’ Park as Newcastle but came to life at Euro 2016, especially against Portugal in the final.

In other Everton transfer news, this £13.5 million flop is a target for a European club who are interested in bringing the striker out on loan.