Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has identified Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel as the ideal man to replace Nigerian international John Obi Mikel following interest in the 28-year-old from clubs in Turkey and the Middle East.

Next season Blues boss Mourinho wants to defend his Premiership title while also putting in a concerted effort to win the Champions League and sees the 26-year-old Belgium international as the ideal candidate to compete with Nemanja Matic for a starting role at Stamford Bridge.

Witsel joined Zenit from Benfica in 2012 for 40€ million in 2012, and after having won the Russian title under Andre Villas-Boas is looking for a new challenge, and when you factor in that both Mourinho and Witsel are represented by the same agent Jorge Mendes , the Blues have a good chance of pulling this move off.

Witsel is a quality play that will only help strengthen the English champions next season and would be a fine edition to Mourinho’s squad.