Everton target Witsel staying put

Everton target Axel Witsel has ruled out a move to Merseyside after revealing he intends to remain at Zenit this season.

The Toffees were amongst a number of clubs hoping to sign the talented Belgium international, with Chelsea and Juventus also reported to be keen admirers.

But Witsel has now explained that he plans to stay in Russia for another 12 months at least before deciding on his future.

The 27-year-old midfielder, who joined Zenit from Benfica in 2012, has gone on to make over 100 appearances, scoring 15 goals.

"I think it would be best for me if now I'll stay here for another year, and then we'll see," he told R Sport.

"Now I am 100% focused on my training and matches, and Zenit."

When quizzed about his preferred next club, Witsel merely said he would be keen for a spell in England or Italy.

"I really do not have any preferences," he added. "But if one day I would be in one of the top clubs in England or Italy, for I will not have much of a difference, because it is the elite.

"Today, I am fully focused on the current season, I want to give everything to the full, and as to what will happen next, wait and see."