Everton confident they’ve beaten Liverpool in £28.5m transfer battle

According to reports from Mirror Football, Everton are confident they’ve won the transfer race to sign Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel.

The Belgium international, who featured in all five of his country’s Euro 2016 fixtures, signed for the Russian outfit four years ago in a stunning €40million deal.

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But the midfield enforcer looks set to leave the club this summer, with his Krestovsky Stadium contract due to expire in a year’s time.

Everton were strongly linked with the 27-year-old last week by The Daily Mail, whilst recent reports have put Liverpool in the frame to contest their Merseyside rivals for Witsel’s signature.

Liverpool’s interest reportedly stems from them missing out on top defensive midfield target Grzegorz Krychowiak, who has snubbed the Reds in favour of signing for PSG.

But according to Mirror Football, Everton are confident they’ve beaten competition to the £28.5million-rated midfielder, also including Serie A side Napoli and fellow Premier League outfit Stoke City.

Witsel’s father has already confirmed the Toffees’ interest in the 71-cap international, telling reporters; “Everton’s interest is concrete, like Napoli’s, so the negotiation is ongoing.

“To see if the marriage happens we have to see the conditions and understand what is the best destination for the player.”