By support

25th Jul, 2016 | 12:37pm

Everton blow as Italian giants look to hijack £25m midfielder move – report

By Harvey Byrne

Italian giants Juventus are pursuing Zenit Saint Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba, according to a report.

Italian sports publication Tuttosport claimed that Witsel has emerged as one of the favourites to replace Pogba, if the Juventus star was to leave for Old Trafford this summer .

It is also claimed that the Belgium midfielder would prefer to play in Italy with Juventus, rather than Everton in the Premier League without Champions League football.

The Mail claimed that the Toffees have had a £25million bid for Axel Witsel accepted by Zenit St Petersburg.

However, with Pogba edging closer to a big-money move to Manchester United, the Toffees’ deal for Witsel could be hijacked.

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The 27-year-old was with the Belgium national side during this summer’s European Championships, and he starred in five games for his country before they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Wales.

The combative midfielder has already made it clear to his club that he wants to leave after four years in Russia and has now entered the final year of his Zenit contract.

Everton were installed as strong favourites to sign Witsel on Saturday night, with bookmakers Sky Bet pricing them at 8/15, ahead of Inter Milan at 5/2.

In other Everton transfer news, new Liverpool signing Georginio Wijnaldum has revealed that it was Jurgen Klopp’s personal touch which convinced him to reject the Toffees.