Report: Everton pursuit of £30m midfielder hits a stumbling block due to issues
By North-west correspondent Alex Stevens
Everton have hit a stumbling block in their bid to prise Axel Witsel from Zenit St Petersburg, according to a report.
Reliable Sky Italia journalist Gianluca Di Marzio claims on his website that Napoli have upped their offer for the Belgium midfielder after the Merseysiders experienced “issues” during discussions with the player.
It is said that Chelsea are also still in the hunt to land Witsel, who has made it clear he is looking for a new club this summer.
This comes 72 hours after Di Marzio claimed that Everton were in pole position to sign Witsel for £30million and were hopeful they had convinced him to sign.
Ronald Koeman’s side had been hopeful that the 27-year-old would become their first marquee signing of what is shaping up to be a record-breaking spending spree this summer.
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Witsel was with the Belgium national side up until last week when they were spectacularly knocked out by Wales in the quarter-finals.
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.
Witsel impressed his suitors again this season, particularly in the Champions League as Zenit dominated their group and made it to the last-16.
The Belgian has 72 appearances for his country despite and his arrival would mark a significant beginning to Koeman’s reign as Everton boss.
In other Everton news, Koeman is targeting a fellow Dutchman this summer.