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Chelsea to battle with London rivals for Belgian star

Chelsea and ready to battle with Tottenham to sign Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel this month.

The 26-year-old Belgian is also desperate to leave Russia in the January transfer market and a move to any of the Premier League sides is said to be a good prospect for the midfielder.

According to Daily Mail, back in summer Chelsea scouted the player when they placed a bid of £23m but the deal never succeeded. But, Tottenham are reportedly leading the race now to bring in Witsel as the midfielder is highly interested to play in the Champions League, something which seems to be more likely achievable at north London club who after 20 matches sit in the fourth position, compared to struggling Chelsea who are 14th right now.

However, Witsel hasn’t been a key member of the Zenit squad, playing only 15 games in their title-winning campaign last term. If the Blues ultimately manage to beat their London rivals to sign him, Zenit will be without Witsel for their round of 16 clash against Paris Saint-Germain next month.

Chelsea are also interested to sign an in-from striker in this transfer window, with Sadio Mane, Gonzalo Higuain among the few targets being monitored for a possible transfer. Diego Costa has been a disaster this season failing to replicate his lethal form from the title winning campaign last season and has netted only six times in the league this season, while being suspended in four matches creating so much controversies both on and off the field.

New interim manager Guus Hiddink is now trying hard to incorporate the belief back in the depleted players, and apparently the Dutchman’s vocal tonics proved to be effective in their 3-0 win against Crystal Palace, a performance which was far far better than that the Blues showed under Jose Mourinho this season.

On the other hand, Tottenham remains active this month in search of a forward thinking midfielder to keep some pressure off Harry Kane, who has find his form again following an indifferent start to this campaign. Tottenham are right now six points adrift of league toppers Arsenal and have tasted defeat only twice this season, the lowest in the league.

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