An interesting, but predictable transfer rumour started making waves this morning, as clubcall.com have reported we will continue our interest in Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel in January.
The Belgian international, who enjoyed a decent Euros this year, was linked with a move to Stoke in the summer, but nothing came of the rumours. The reported fee was £21m, which would have been a record transfer fee for the club.
And now we’re apparently ready to renew our interest, for a cut price of around £12m.
Witsel, who has just 6 months left on his contract, agreed to stay with Zenit amid a mass of interest, but could easily be tempted with the offer of Premier League football.
The signing of the Belgian would surely be a hue statement, but with our current midfield situation, you have to wonder if he is the best fit? With Imbula losing his place in the squad, it is clear that Hughes wants to keep with at least one out and out defensive midfielder in the squad. And although Witsel does have very good defensive abilities, you have to question if he’d fit the bill currently.
Regardless of this, it’s hard to question the fact that he is extremely talented, and would be a great addition to the club.
Reports claim we will be trying hard to secure his signature over January, however, Juventus are still massive favourites to sign the Belgian.
After missing out on him in the summer, Juve CEO Giuseppe Marotta said they’ll go after the midfielder in January or the summer.
“We have an obligation to monitor all players,” Marotta told Radio Anch’io Sport.
“Witsel is in an easier position, facilitated by the expiration of his contract. We will try to take him in January or June.”
So if Stoke are serious about their interest in Witsel, then they will have to move quickly, and get the deal done before the Italian superpower can.