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Chelsea, Tottenham to resume battle over Zenit midfielder - report

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With the winter transfer window open as of Saturday, some old names previously linked to a Chelsea move are bound to re-emerge in the rumour mill. According to the Daily Mail, Chelsea and Tottenham "ready to battle" for Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel once again this month.

Axel Witsel has been linked to a Premier League move since 2012 when he was still at Benfica in Portugal, with Chelsea almost always listed as one of his possible suitors. In the last transfer window, Witsel was also reportedly close to move to Serie A club AC Milan but that deal ultimately fell through -- although Milan might also try to approach the player again.

It's also reported that Witsel wants Champions League football next season (who doesn't?), which, as weird as this will sound, could give the advantage to Tottenham in their pursuit.  Spurs are currently fourth and boast the league's meanest defensive record and joint-highest goal differential.  This could be their best chance of finishing fourth since they actually finished fourth, in 2012.

Witsel's price tag last summer was rumoured to be around £23 million, a fair amount less than the £30 million paid by Zenit to take him out of Benfica. But, given the competition coming from big English clubs as well as a Milan side who have re-opened their pockets could certainly drive his price up.

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