Chelsea boost as Napoli end interest in Belgium midfielder – report

Napoli end interest in Chelsea and Everton target Axel Witsel, according to reports in Italy

Napoli have ended their pursuit of Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel, according to reports in Italy.

Gianlucadimarzio.com are reporting that the Serie A outfit have failed to reach an agreement with Witsel’s employers Zenit St Petersburg for the sale of the Belgium defensive midfielder.

The same report states that Chelsea and Everton are still interested in the 27-year-old midfielder, who has made no secret of his desire to move to Serie A or the Premier League this summer.

Witsel was part of Marc Wilmots’s Belgium side that reached the last eight of the European championship before a 3-1 defeat by Wales despite being heavy favourites to progress to the semi-finals.

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The Belgian star has won the Russian top-flight crown and the Russian Cup since his move to Zenit from Portuguese Benfica in 2012.

The Chelsea and Everton target has scored seven times in 71 appearances for the Belgium national team since making his debut in 2008.

The Blues have only signed Witsel’s Belgian compatriot Michy Batshuayi in the summer transfer window so far ahead of Antonio Conte’s official unveiling as Chelsea manager on Thursday.

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