Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel will turn down a move to Liverpool in favour of a transfer to Merseyside rivals Everton or Italian outfit Napoli, according to ​Sky Sport Italia.

The Reds were reported to be keen on a move for the Zenit St. Petersburg man this summer, though a number of other big names across Europe are monitoring his situation too. 

The likes of Roma, Juventus and Milan were believed to be in the running, though Witsel is reported to have narrowed his decision down to just two clubs.

FC Zenit St Petersburg v FC Krasnodar - Russian Premier League

Liverpool are not one of them, at least according to the report. Instead, Liverpool's arch rivals - who have been boosted by new investment from Farhad Moshiri - are ahead of the Reds in the running. 

New boss Ronald Koeman is keen on bringing the player to Goodison Park to continue a significant makeover of the playing squad.

The player himself expressed in an interview with Italian outlet La Gazzetta dello Sport last month that he was determined to leave Zenit and play for a club in either Italy or England, saying: “I want to try a new experience in a different League, a new challenge.

“I hope to step up a level and play in a big European club. My future could be in Italy or in England. It doesn’t matter if I go to Serie A or the Premier League, as long as it’s a big club.”

Liverpool had initially turned their attention to the player after missing out on Polish midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak, who signed for Paris Saint Germain at the weekend.

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