AC Milan go for Real Madrid target Witsel

AC Milan are preparing to battle La Liga champions Real Madrid in the race to sign Benfica winger Alex Witsel a close SqueakyBumTime source tells us.

Rumours have gathered that the 23-year-old is wanted by Rossoneri as coach Massimiliano Allegri prepares to revamp his squad during the summer.

The Belgium international has been winning rave reviews since arriving at the Estadio da Luz 12-months ago following his move from Standard Liege .

His performances haven’t gone unnoticed around Europe with Madrid boss Jose Mourinho reportedly keen to bring him to the Bernabeu next season but will fight Milan for his signature.

Witsel, who has 27 caps for his country, is refusing to be drawn into speculation over his future but did admit that he is flattered by the level of interest being shown in him.

He told Lisbon based newspaper Record: “It’s always nice to see one’s name linked with important teams, especially Milan. It means that as a player I’m doing a good job; this is a very important thing.”

Benfica are keen to retain his services but sporting director Rui Costa has conceded that it will be difficult to hold on to a player of his quality with bigger clubs sniffing around.

Speaking to in March he said: “Witsel is a player ready for any league. We’re talking about a guy with huge potential, of whom we are very proud, given his performances in the shirt of Benfica.”

“Witsel is part of the select few high-level youngsters who are already ready to measure themselves at a top club, although I hope he can continue with our team for a long time.

“In the event of a transfer, I hope he will end up at a side who will allow him to continue on a path of growth.

“We are proud of having come upon him before other big clubs, who will now have to invest heavily if they want to take him away from Benfica.”

The Belgian has made significant strides in his first campaign for the Aguias making 40 appearances in all competitions scoring three goals and becoming an integral part of the manager Jorge Jenus’ midfield.

Witsel previously played 194 times in five-years with Standard making his debut as an 17-year-old in September 2006 going on to win two League titles, two Supercups and a Belgian cup.