• Axel Witsel has already expressed his desire to leave Zenit St Petersburg this summer.
  • The Belgium international has set his sights on playing in England or Italy.
  • The midfielder wants to play for a 'big European club.'

Liverpool have turned their attention to signing Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel after failing to land Grzegorz Krychowiak. The Poland international left Sevilla and followed Unai Emery to Paris Saint-Germain.

Emery replaced Laurent Blanc as the manager at Parc des Princes, following his exit from Sevilla. He has now brought Krychowiak along with him to the French capital, who was also wanted by the Reds.

According to The Mirror, the situation has forced the Merseyside club to turn their attention to Witsel. He was the second player in Jurgen Klopp's list of midfield targets, behind Krychowiak and the former Borussia Dortmund manager is hoping to secure his services in the summer transfer window.

Liverpool will face stiff competition from their local rivals Everton for the 27-year-old's signature. The Toffees boss Ronald Koeman is keen on bringing the Belgium international to Goodison Park this summer.

The Sun earlier reported that Everton had agreed a £30m ($39.4m) deal with Zenit in order to secure Witsel's signature. He was earning £100,000 a week at the Russian outfit and Koeman was ready to match his wage at Everton.

However, Liverpool have now joined the race for Witsel and will go head-to-head with Everton in securing his services. He has expressed his desire to play in England's top flight club competition. He even admitted that he has set his sights on playing for a "big European club," as he is set to leave his current employers this summer.

"I'd like to play in the Premier League or Italy next season. I would try an experience in another league, a new challenge." Witsel told Gazzetta dello Sport.

"I hope to step up a level and play at a big European club. My future may be in Italy or England. It doesn't matter if I go to Serie A or the Premier League as long as it's a great club."

Witsel was part of the Belgium squad in the Euro 2016. Unfortunately for him and his teammates, their European championship campaign came to an end following their 3-1 defeat to Wales in the second quarter-final.