The Belgian midfielder, who is currently a mainstay in the Zenit St. Petersburg midfield, has confirmed his intention to move to a bigger league at the end of the season.
Zenit St.Petersburg have had a disappointing 2015-16 campaign, being eliminated from the Champions League at the Round of 16 stage by Benfica and falling behind in their domestic league. The Russian giants could have further worries next season, with arguably their best player actively looking for a move away from the club.
Axel Witsel joined Zenit from Benfica in 2012, but after four seasons at the Russian club, the 27-year-old wants to move to a bigger league and has made his feelings clear to the officials at the club.
“I still have a contract for one more year come June and the club know how I feel. I would like to play in a bigger league,” Witsel told Belgian media outlet La Derniere Hiure.
“I cannot say that I will 100 percent leave, but we have not held talks over a new deal and my intention is to leave this summer. I want to focus on finishing the season on a high, then there’s the Euros and then we will see what happens.”
The Belgian even believes that Zenit would sell him for less than the 40 million euros they paid for his services in 2012.
AC Milan and Juventus possible destinations, Manchester United could be interested
Witsel was very close to signing for Serie A club AC Milan last summer, but the deal fell through because Zenit didn’t have enough time to sign a replacement. The Rossoneri could try to sign the midfielder again this summer, but will have to fend off competition from other top clubs including Serie A rivals Juventus, who were also interested in the Belgian.
The Premier League remains the midfielder’s first choice and he has already expressed an interest in moving to Manchester United. Witsel can play in a number of positions in midfield; his athleticism, work rate and passing ability would be a welcome boost to the United midfield. Bastian Schweinsteiger hasn’t quite fulfilled expectations since his arrival at the club, while Michael Carrick is reaching the end of his time at Old Trafford. At 28 million euros, Witsel could prove to be a profitable investment to bolster the central midfield position at the club.