Stoke make new bid for Zenit star Witsel – report

Ian Watson
Axel Witsel: Am offer was lodged

Stoke are understood to have made a renewed attempt to sign Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel from Zenit St Petersburg.

The Potters tried to bring Witsel to the Premier League in January but Zenit rebuffed their approaches for the 28-year-old.

Roma are also said to be pursuing Witsel as they seek a potential replacement for Miralem Pjanic. The Serie A side’s interest appears to have prompted Stoke to make a new offer, said to be in the region £11million, according to Calcio Mercato.

Witsel spoke in March of his desire to leave Zenit for a new challenge this summer.

“I still have a contract for one more year come June and the club know how I feel. I would like to play in a bigger league,” he told La Derniere Heure.

“I cannot say that I will 100 per cent leave, but we have not held talks over a new deal and my intention is to leave this summer. I want to focus on finishing the season on a high, then there’s the Euros and then we will see what happens.

“I spoke to a number of clubs last summer, but it was not about money for Zenit. They wanted to keep me because of the Champions League and there was no time to sign a replacement.

“When a player has just one year left on his contract, a club cannot demand too much money. I don’t think Zenit will be asking €40million for me.”