Benfica Ace Axel Witsel Emerging As A Favoured Target
Chelsea and Manchester United could be set to battle it out for the signature of Benfica’s Belgian midfield marvel Axel Witsel.
Both Chelsea and Manchester United are looking for younger central midfield options this summer, having relied on old heads like Frank Lampard and Paul Scholes respectively.
Though both have been linked with Tottenham’s Luka Modric and Joao Moutinho of FC Porto, it seems both clubs have identified Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel as a target, according to the Daily Mail.
Chelsea’s Champions League title has given them an extra lure in the transfer market having already managed to bring in Eden Hazard and are now targeting Witsel to increase their Belgian contingent. Hazard has joined Romelu Lukaku, Kevin de Bruyne and Thibaut Courtois on the Chelsea books and they may well be able to persuade Witsel to join the Blues over the Red Devils if it came down to it.
United have already snagged Japanese playmaker Shinji Kagawa from Borussia Dortmund this summer and are looking for even more midfield reinforcements. They may actually hold an advantage over Chelsea though because Benfica are supposedly interested in United midfielder Anderson in a part exchange deal. Anderson has previous experience of playing in Portugal with FC Porto, and a move back there may well interest him as he appears to be out of favour at Old Trafford.
Witsel is an energetic midfielder who can get up and down the pitch with ease, which makes me think that he would compliment either side – though with Chelsea still having Michael Essien, Jon Obi Mikel and Ramires in the squad, I think Witsel could be heading to Old Trafford instead of Stamford Bridge – however, I still think Moutinho would be a better option.