Chelsea chief Roman Abramovic travels to Russia to negotiate Axel Witsel deal

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic is reported to be en route to his native Russia to negotiate a deal with Zenit St Petersburg for the signature of midfielder Axel Witsel, according to Belgian media outlet RTBF.

Earlier this week, it had been reported that Serie A champions Juventus had agreed a deal to sign the 26-year-old, but they will apparently only sanction the deal should they lose either Paul Pogba or Arturo Vidal.

However, The Express has also claimed that he is in line to join AC Milan after verbally agreeing a move.

But if reports in Belgium are to be believed, it would seem that no deal has been struck with the Italian sides, and Chelsea could still snap him up providing they meet Zenit’s £28m valuation.

Abramovic is thought to be good friends with Zenit owner Alexander Dyukov Valeryevich and to further improve their chances, RTBF claim that manager Jose Mourinho is on good terms with Witsel’s adviser Lucien D’Onofrio.

Chelsea already have a strong Belgian contingent with Eden Hazard, Thibaut Courtois and Charly Musonda all in residence at Stamford Bridge. However, Chelsea already have Nemanja Matic patrolling a defensive midfield role, meaning that Witsel may have to occupy a role further forward.

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