It was believed that the Belgian international was set to complete a transfer from Zenit St Petersburg to Everton in the coming days once he had finished a post-Euro2016 break in Italy with his family, this after terms had been agreed with both the player and the Russian club.
According to Sky Italia, however, Witsel's switch to Goodison Park could be under threat as complications threaten the deal and that the Serie A side had returned with an improved offer.
The Italian club appeared to be in the driving seat for the 27-year-old early on because of their ability to offer Champions League but the Toffees looked to have swayed him with a better salary package and Farhad Moshiri's ambitious plans.
These fresh reports threw doubt on Ronald Koeman getting his man but also smacked of media attempts to exploit the delay while Witsel enjoys his holiday, in much the same way as tabloid reports in England tried to claim that Chelsea had come in with a trump offer a few days ago.
The journalist in question, Gianluca DiMarzio, has a chequered history where it comes to the reliability of his stories, and Russian media outlet Tass have since reported that Witsel's representatives are not dealing with Napoli. They say that the Premier League is his only likely destination.
Indeed, sources closer to home say that there has been nothing to suggest that the Everton deal has been derailed and that things will become clearer once the midfielder is back from his break.
Update Subsequent reports out of Italy that Napoli had, indeed, come to an agreement with both Zenit and Witsel were later quashed when fresh claims emerged that negotiations had collapsed.
Suggestions that Inter Milan have now entered the equation are thought to be similarly wide of the mark and only the player's return from holiday when he will make his final decision will end the circle of reports and speculation.
Reader Comments (132)
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1 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:10:48
2 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:15:51
3 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:16:47
4 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:24:28
Bottom line, I think there are better players out there and cheaper but we'll have to wait and see I guess.
6 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:32:20
8 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:36:32
9 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:39:57
10 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:47:19
11 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:52:38
I'm sure the snag is probably a bit of mischief making to try and get a few more 00's added to the deal!
12 Posted 09/07/2016 at 15:59:14
We've been linked to about 77 players so far this summer - and I'd like to know who (if anyone at all) really wants away - cos reports and counter reports are just getting jjaebcpmxloegdomgd...........
14 Posted 09/07/2016 at 16:15:42
15 Posted 09/07/2016 at 16:22:03
He's only been in his office a week! Players still on holiday after the Euros, give the man a chance! He still needs to talk to Lukaku, Stones and possibly others.
Hope I'm wrong mind, sign 'em up Ronald!
16 Posted 09/07/2016 at 16:40:21
I think I saw this article shown on Twitter last night or today and Gianluca Di Marzio was running it and honestly, this fella talks shit! He's a football pundit for Sky Italia and does stuff on Italy's equivalent of our SSN so you'd think he'd have really good contacts over there and have his finger on the pulse of what's going on but he posts a right load of shit rumours what most of them have no fabrication what so ever!
You have to remember that this same fella not so long ago said we'd beaten Napoli to Witsel! Now he's saying Napoli are back in for him cos of complications?! This same fella has had us and other clubs in for all sorts of players. He said we had bid for Cristian Tello & Mbaye Niang! He said we were favourites to sign Nani! Said we were in for Zaza! Said we'd had a bid for Djibril Sidibe of Lille rejected! None of that he reported had any substance to em.
At the end of the day, no one knows anything right now and whilst things are quiet, people shit stir to fill back pages and columns.
IF it happens, it happens and we've got a good player. IF not then we move on. There is plenty of good CM out there for us to go for and I'm sure we're talking to plenty of agents just in case certain priority targets don't come off.
17 Posted 09/07/2016 at 16:46:39
No sign of the New Football director and if the new Water Front Stadium is going to be built in the next 3yrs Where is the Sold sign on the land at the docks? Same Old Everton.
18 Posted 09/07/2016 at 16:48:35
Us Evertonians who are attached to the club and rate our players, still think we need strengthening in certain areas so what is someone who isn't/wasn't attached to us and looking on in from the outside and seeing us finishing 11th for past 2 seasons gonna think when he's tasked with kicking us on and competing for the European spots and beyond? He's gonna know we're gonna need improving here and there to try and get to where he wants to take us regardless of what talent we have already.
19 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:04:10
20 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:09:57
21 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:21:12
Don't need Witsel, we've got Davies, Dowell and Ledson.
22 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:29:27
23 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:33:15
A team of homegrown players somehow feels more like a 'real' Everton than simply going out and splashing cash on big names.
Of course, it's really about getting a nice blend of the two.
24 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:39:57
25 Posted 09/07/2016 at 17:45:46
26 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:10:25
28 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:21:54
I thought we had already bought the Russian player of the year! and if so does that mean this guy is not as good as Oumar Niasse?
29 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:33:15
30 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:37:04
31 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:37:11
32 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:37:39
33 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:48:58
34 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:57:57
35 Posted 09/07/2016 at 18:58:50
Just read two tweets, one said its definitely off the other one said its definitely on. I think it's probably somewhere in between.
36 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:22:30
37 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:28:15
Niasse's "Player of the Year" award was just a poll run by a magazine. There was nothing official or important about it. Nobody who watched him play for us in recent months would be surprised!
38 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:29:57
39 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:42:50
40 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:43:08
41 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:52:55
By the way, Joe Ledley's shit as well!
42 Posted 09/07/2016 at 19:58:19
The only question that really matters is 'is he better than what we have and will he benefit the first team?' Yes.
43 Posted 09/07/2016 at 20:03:35
Im certain the club will move forward and bring in signings we wouldn't have been blento make under the previous regime.
44 Posted 09/07/2016 at 20:34:34
45 Posted 09/07/2016 at 20:35:12
46 Posted 09/07/2016 at 20:39:31
47 Posted 09/07/2016 at 20:49:12
If a new player arrives, shirt in hand, contract signed, depending on who they are, we can jump about in joy or shrug our shoulders in disappointment. The window doesn't close until the end of August and we're only in the early days of July - despite the lack of sunshine we should take advantage of the fresh air and recharge our batteries for the upcoming season.
As for Witsel, I don't know enough about him, and he didn't stand out to me in the European Championships but then again how many players have announced themselves in that tournament?
48 Posted 09/07/2016 at 20:49:30
It doesn't excite me personally. He's 27, played in inferior leagues for his career and looked decent and tidy in the Euros but I think we're overpaying. I think we might as well get Fellaini back in for that role with goals on top... (I will get hammered for that remark)
Mata doesn't excite me either because I think we have a better Spaniard in our ranks. Managed right, he is a world beater.
And I don't mean Robles...
49 Posted 09/07/2016 at 21:12:29
Fellaini is awful as a holding midfielder. He's about the same age as Witsel and still hasn't got a proper position because he doesn't excel at anything apart from scoring the odd goal when playing behind the striker.
50 Posted 09/07/2016 at 21:36:08
Manure have played him all over the place so he doesn't know what he is himself.
I'm not really saying bring him back because for me he isn't mobile enough but just don't get the fuss over the other fella.
51 Posted 09/07/2016 at 21:44:33
Is he a holding midfielder? No: he's slow, can't tackle cleanly, crap in this role, undisciplined. Is he a second striker? No: slow, all arms, undisciplined,again. Is he a centre-back. No: see above,
Is he finished as an influential Premier League player? Yes... Do I want him back? For £2 million... maybe, but not a penny more.
52 Posted 09/07/2016 at 22:06:19
Tackling is still awful and cannot beat a man on the ground.
Everton have a decent compliment of midfielders but the question is can Big K get the right combination and the right consistency from this bunch.
Far too often under RM they lacked the tackling and closing down when not in possession leaving the back line exposed. If Barry, Besic, McCarthy, Gibson and Cleverley along with Lennon, Deulofeu and Mirallas cannot form a strong middle-of-the-park line, then one or two youngsters must be given some more playing time if nobody is signed for the pre-season games.
53 Posted 09/07/2016 at 22:06:45
Mata knows the Premier League and can change games. He would be my choice at present. Unproven Premier League players is the risk all clubs must take.
Role on the start of the season!
54 Posted 09/07/2016 at 22:27:25
55 Posted 09/07/2016 at 22:37:55
10 goals a season? I'd rather have him than Cleverley and McCarthy who cause zero panic in the attacking third and rarely score.
Man Utd did overpay but we also did for McCarthy.
56 Posted 09/07/2016 at 22:41:50
59 Posted 09/07/2016 at 23:08:36
60 Posted 09/07/2016 at 23:14:25
Moyes played to his strengths and made him the focal point of the team LVG never, plus to be fair to United, they have better quality so he doesn't catch the eye so much I'd have him back, £15 mill?
As for Snitzel not seen much of him except for the Euros. Seemed decent but no world beater.
61 Posted 09/07/2016 at 23:19:02
62 Posted 09/07/2016 at 23:30:11
63 Posted 09/07/2016 at 23:51:36
65 Posted 10/07/2016 at 01:03:16
66 Posted 10/07/2016 at 08:53:15
67 Posted 10/07/2016 at 11:08:00
I think Lukaku will be with us next season; nobody will pay £65 million he's not worth that fee. If we ask £50 million for Stones ,that transfer won't happen either he us not worth that fee.
Guardiola looks more interested in Bonucci, a ready-made defender at the full height of his power. Stones is only potentially a good centre-half, far from the finished article that Bonucci undeniably is.
69 Posted 10/07/2016 at 14:56:08
This just needs to happen now, let's force it through and move on to the next target.
70 Posted 10/07/2016 at 14:59:36
71 Posted 10/07/2016 at 15:07:00
According to conflicting reports, Witsel wants to come to Everton but his agent is insisting on Naples as he gets a larger cut. At the same time Zenit have told Napoli they're not interested in dealing with them. This is all very confusing.
73 Posted 10/07/2016 at 16:26:04
74 Posted 10/07/2016 at 17:11:21
75 Posted 10/07/2016 at 17:16:32
I think that's a very good reminder, Phil. And in which case, just a couple of really significant signings could well take us into a top 4 position. Assuming, of course, RK really can make that much of a difference, which I have no reason to doubt. The fly in the ointment at the moment is whether we can convince players who would not normally see us as worth signing for that in fact we are going places; and keeping the players we value.
77 Posted 10/07/2016 at 17:37:10
Time has marched on for Barry,Jags and Bainsey and we are now lacking a top class experienced GK.
We have lost Pienaar Ossie and Hibbo from the squad and could do with losing Kone.Niasse and McGeady.
There are also doubts about Stones and Lukaku so obviously that 100m will have to work hard.
78 Posted 10/07/2016 at 17:46:10
79 Posted 10/07/2016 at 17:53:30
Phil, I'm personally looking forward to breakthrough seasons from the likes of Besic, Galloway and (believe it or not?) Cleverley. It might be a step to far to see the likes of Dowell, Kenny, Davies etc...but these other players I expect to come good this season.
I do expect to see three new top players; A GK, CDM player and a left sided attacker. As per usual, I'm quietly confident about the new season. No predictions though.
80 Posted 10/07/2016 at 17:56:43
81 Posted 10/07/2016 at 18:14:05
I would like some genuine physical presence in midfield; a big unit who is mobile, can put it about with an eye for a pass and chip in with the odd goal.
This is a squad that finished fifth three seasons ago. At the time I thought we needed two or three quality additions to push on. We didn't get them and were badly managed the last two seasons.
Keeper, centre half (if Stones is leaving), striker. We need a good spine before we can start moving forward again.
84 Posted 10/07/2016 at 21:01:05
86 Posted 10/07/2016 at 21:42:11
However a one legged man offers more than that waste of space McCarthy and if Witsel did sign then I would roll with his wages if it meant I never have to see that talentless Barry chuckle wannabe play for Everton again
87 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:02:55
88 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:05:17
89 Posted 10/07/2016 at 22:25:50
Thank heavens for me, he is a squad quality player at best and yet another indicator of the lunacy of current valuations. Lukaku £75 MM, Stones £50 MM? You can build schools and hospitals for that and it's obscene that instead we make thick under talented young players and their agents rich on it instead.
90 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:14:40
As for Witsel, well this has become more tedious than the yarmolenko farce. They can both sod off if they want to use us to get their "dream" moves to other clubs.
91 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:15:18
92 Posted 10/07/2016 at 23:31:27
93 Posted 11/07/2016 at 00:44:58
94 Posted 11/07/2016 at 01:11:46
Okay, we got Koeman and they said it was their Number One choice which I don't believe to be honest. What changed? Still linked with big names but can't seal the deal. Stadium still all hearsay. Bill still talking shit...
95 Posted 11/07/2016 at 05:13:39
Agents with their own agenda and media moguls with pages to fill do not a solid transfer link make! So, everything else is just speculation, which just leads to disappointment. Haven't we had enough of that as Evertonians? Indeed, these players may be on the radar, but quite frankly until they are at Goodison having a medical then it is just speculation to me!
When we signed Fellaini for example, that came out of nowhere. Some posters talk about dithering, but really what do we know about the behind the scenes shenanigans?
I thought Moyes got unfairly labelled here, his dithering got us Martyn, Howard, Coleman, Baines, Oviedo, Lescott, Distin, Jagielka, Arteta, Gravesen, Cahill, Heitinga, Pienaar etc etc. And there are some players we wished he'd dithered on.
The point is, it is all about perception as we really haven't got an igloo as to what is going on behind the scenes. As Phil Walling (#74) says, there has been a feeling of the squad underachieving. The manager has just come in, there has been the Euros, players are still on holiday, and there is a squad that is getting assessed, not to mention assessing the suitability of the youngsters for first team duties!
96 Posted 11/07/2016 at 06:44:21
Next we have a go for Milik, who plays for... ???
We will still land Witsel, but not Koulibaly. Mata is still on the cards as this deal is dependant on Pogba going to Man Utd (although Mata has been transfer listed).The Fiorentina guy is a great backup if everything goes tits up.
Advice: stop panicking and go and have a look at the Chelsea sites and see what they are saying about "corrupt Everton" it's hilarious. Comments about us having loads of money and must be corrupt... we have signed a third choice keeper and they are owned by someone from the mafia. :)
Onwards and Upwards Guys COYB!
97 Posted 11/07/2016 at 06:46:23
98 Posted 11/07/2016 at 06:54:30
My point being is that BK may have picked up on it, but the sports media didn't and ultimately for anyone who didn't regularly read BK it was out of the blue, no pun intended!
Whereas, I tend not to be too excited by transfer news as after being an Evertonian for 35 or more years I am used to a lot of these transfer rumours being just what they are, rumours!
99 Posted 11/07/2016 at 09:23:07
Summer International competitions always disrupt the close-season recruitment and training programmes and we are just having to be patient whilst RK gets his feet under the table.
Personally, I'm as interested to discover how the new man rates our 'unusual seam of young talent' as I am about signing Witsel and shall be just as happy if he turns last season's losers into a Leicester City as I shall be when Mata waves the scarf!
100 Posted 11/07/2016 at 09:37:55
But as good as watching players train is valuable it is still not the same as playing in a competitive game. I am sure with having played against us he has a fair idea of the talent in the squad. But Klopp didn't make any signings in his first transfer window, he took his time to assess his squad. I am not suggesting RK wont make important signings before the start of the season but give the guy some time first.
101 Posted 11/07/2016 at 09:55:31
Our current squad has a lot of ability, and could do extremely well. We need clear improvements, not quick big money signings as a PR exercise to the fans.
Having a new manager means we're behind other clubs, they should be implementing long term plans, we're only just starting a new regime.
102 Posted 11/07/2016 at 09:55:51
103 Posted 11/07/2016 at 10:32:10
104 Posted 11/07/2016 at 11:58:23
105 Posted 11/07/2016 at 12:34:48
106 Posted 11/07/2016 at 12:48:16
107 Posted 11/07/2016 at 13:46:50
We will see... either way, the club seems to be dealing with transfers in a calm and professional way. I think that, by the end of the week, there will be some sort of news for us.
108 Posted 11/07/2016 at 14:02:39
Neil @ 17 nothing like an optimistic view of things then?
Just remembered why some of the posts on TW can be bad for the blood pressure at this point of pre-season.
109 Posted 11/07/2016 at 14:45:04
He'd have played him in goal.
110 Posted 11/07/2016 at 14:55:43
111 Posted 11/07/2016 at 15:24:44
112 Posted 11/07/2016 at 15:57:28
However, having lost so many players from the squad and with an aging Barry, Jagielka and Baines I am concerned that the top talent is already being snapped up.
113 Posted 11/07/2016 at 16:21:20
Best we sit back and hope it's a good ride. Koeman won't let us down. If we can't trust him at this stage, God help us.
114 Posted 11/07/2016 at 18:34:00
115 Posted 11/07/2016 at 19:20:47
Errrrr....Osman, Pienaar, Hibbert.
Top talent........ 10 years ago!
116 Posted 11/07/2016 at 19:39:13
117 Posted 11/07/2016 at 22:19:17
"On the 11 July 2016, Witsel signed for S.S.C. Napoli for €25, on a four year deal".
Presumably not too much of a risk for that money ;)
118 Posted 11/07/2016 at 22:32:30
Still think he'll be ours. Statement yesterday in Russian govt press saying Zenit were not speaking to Napoli.
Reckon we'll announce it the day he returns from holiday unless Chelsea gazump us...
119 Posted 11/07/2016 at 22:32:32
In fact why don't we?
He must be worth at least £30 though Darren.
121 Posted 12/07/2016 at 08:16:53
122 Posted 12/07/2016 at 09:50:52
As for the week after next, I won't even go there.
I believe I speak for many ToffeeWebbers. Grrr.
123 Posted 12/07/2016 at 14:33:16
124 Posted 12/07/2016 at 16:12:14
125 Posted 12/07/2016 at 16:15:53
126 Posted 12/07/2016 at 16:21:37
127 Posted 12/07/2016 at 16:21:57
128 Posted 12/07/2016 at 19:41:21
129 Posted 12/07/2016 at 19:43:38
130 Posted 12/07/2016 at 20:35:01
Personally, I'd look elsewhere anyway.
131 Posted 12/07/2016 at 22:49:13
I'm a fan of his but it seems to me like Napoli may have been his first choice and no-one likes being second pick....
132 Posted 13/07/2016 at 11:28:48
133 Posted 13/07/2016 at 13:52:06
134 Posted 13/07/2016 at 15:36:21
135 Posted 13/07/2016 at 15:58:06
( yet another senior moment!)
136 Posted 13/07/2016 at 15:58:14
( yet another senior moment!)
137 Posted 13/07/2016 at 15:58:21
( yet another senior moment!)
138 Posted 13/07/2016 at 16:04:49
139 Posted 13/07/2016 at 16:20:40
140 Posted 13/07/2016 at 16:32:40
Another senior moment. I hope they don't all join up.
141 Posted 13/07/2016 at 16:36:21
142 Posted 13/07/2016 at 16:57:58
143 Posted 13/07/2016 at 22:59:48
144 Posted 14/07/2016 at 01:30:29
145 Posted 17/07/2016 at 22:24:44
146 Posted 17/07/2016 at 22:39:45
Not going to flesh out my reasoning. So that's a Nope.
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