Premier League champions Chelsea look set to miss out on Zenit St Petersburg star Axel Witsel, according to reports.
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Witsel has been heavily linked with a move to the Blues in recent weeks, however, the Belgian international’s agent, Riccardo Napolitano, says Serie A giants AC Milan have offered a £14.1m transfer fee to the Russian giants.
Napolitano however admitted that Zenit considered Milan’s offer to be under the club’s valuation of the 26-year-old.
“At the start Axel was not convinced by Milan’s proposal, because he was looking for a club that played in the Champions League,” Napolitano told Antenna 3, as reported by Daily Express.
“However, the Rossoneri were very insistent and at the end the player said yes to their offer. The first hurdle has therefore been overcome.
“Now they need to satisfy Zenit’s demands. Milan are prepared to spend £14.4m, but the Russians are asking for £21.6m to £25m.”
Chelsea are said to be keen on Witsel, however it remains to be seen if Blues boss Jose Mourinho rates the midfielder highly enough to match Zenit’s asking price.
Witsel is understood to be viewed as a replacement for Jon Obi Mikel, who is believed to be close to making a move to Turkish giants Fenerbahce.
The outstanding form of Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic restricted the Nigeria international to just 16 Premier League appearances last term as Chelsea went on to claim its fifth domestic title.
Witsel has made 77 league appearances for Zenit since making the shock move from Benfica in 2012, scoring 12 goals.