The 27-year-old will be able to join a new club for free in the summer and has picked Juventus as his preferred destination, despite interest from Antonio Conte

Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel will reject a summer move to Chelsea in order to secure a switch to Serie A champions Juventus, according to Italian publication Tuttosport.

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The Belgian is entering the final six months of his contract and is therefore allowed to begin negotiations with clubs in view of a move at the end of the season.

And, while a number of Premier League teams remain interested in signing Witsel, the 27-year-old is thought to only have eyes for Juventus and the Turin club have already started the process to secure his signature.

“We’re working to sign Rodrigo Bentancur and Witsel,” Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta told Radio Anch’io Sport. “We’ll sign Bentancur in June.

“Witsel? We had contacts with Zenit for his signing and we’re waiting for Zenit’s response. Caldara and Gagliardini are two interesting players, our first objective is to sign the best young players.”

Chelsea boss Antonio Conte is looking to sign a central midfielder, with Oscar on the verge of leaving for China, and Cesc Fabregas rumoured to be heading to Serie A in the new year.

Chinese Super League side Shanghai SIPG are reportedly prepared to pay €60million for Oscar and make him one of the highest-paid players in the world once the January transfer window opens.

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“I don’t know exactly the amount or situation but I think in the right moment you’ll know the situation, now we have to wait,” Conte said, when asked about the speculation surrounding the Brazilian.

“I talk with the club, with the board and I explained my thoughts about every situation.

“It’s normal. You’re in the club and try to make the best decision. There are situations that are amazing and it’s very difficult to try to solve the situation in the best way.”