Italians to nick Stoke target

Stoke could miss out on the signing of Axel Witsel after reports claimed Napoli are closing in on the Zenit St Petersburg midfielder.

Stoke: Italians to nick Stoke targetStoke: Italians to nick Stoke target

Potters boss Mark Hughes has been heavily linked with Witsel for the last 12 months and was finally hoping to strike a deal after it became clear he will be leaving Russia.

Chelsea have also been linked with a move for the Belgium international, who is currently preparing for the Euro 2016 quarter-final against Wales tomorrow, but Napoli are in the box seat.

The player’s agent had suggested that after a spell in Russia, Witsel wants to head to a warmer climate, and Italy and the city of Naples appeals more than England.

Napoli are now reported to have opened talks with Zenit over a deal worth in the region of £16million, meaning the Potters could miss out once again.

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