Chelsea are set to join Premier League Champions Manchester United in the race for Belgian starlet Axel Witsel, who plays for Standard Liege, according to reports.
Man United boss Sir Alex Ferguson is understood to be a big admirer of 19-year-old midfielder Witsel and is reported as already having a £19million offer turned down for the Belgian International last month.
Now Chelsea are believed to have made enquiries about the Les Rouches player, who has already made 78 appearances, scoring 16 goals in the process since making his senior debut for Standard in 2006 after coming through the youth set-up at the Belgian club and was a pivotal figure in Standard winning their first league title in 25 years last season.
Standard Liege however, are in no hurry to let their prodigy leave the Stade Maurice Dufrasne, having already sold one of their stars Marouane Felliani to Premiership club Everton in the summer for £15million, with it unlikely that Wisel will be allowed to leave in January, while the Belgian side are still involved in the UEFA Cup.
This would mean Chelsea having to wait until next summer before starting a bidding war with the Red Devils for the signature of Witsel, with the Blues hoping to have sneaked in to do a deal for Witsel, while United were away at the World Club Championships in Japan.