Man United and Chelsea given deadline day boost in Axel Witsel chase

Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea have been given a deadline day boost in their hunt to sign Belgian international midfielder Axel Witsel after AC Milan dropped out of the race for his signature, according to the Daily Express.

The 26-year-old has been linked with a departure from Russian champions Zenit St Petersburg all summer, with a number of top European sides all linked with a move for him.

Zenit have stated the former Benfica man will not be sold unless his £70m (€100m) release clause is paid.

Serie A side AC Milan had been tipped to wrap up the deal, but couldn’t push the move through before Monday night’s European transfer deadline.

“We tried to the end for Witsel, but we knew it would finish this way,” said Milan CEO Adriano Galliani.

Milan failed to bring in any players on deadline day, but managed to offload Alessandro Matri and Hachim Mastour to Lazio and Malaga respectively.

The news will now come as a boost to both United and Chelsea in their hopes of bringing him to the Premier League before the 6pm cut off.

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