Axel Witsel has goaded interest from Manchester United by insisting that he hopes for a move to a big club in order to play football in the Premier League.
The 24-year-old moved to Zenit St Petersburg in a €40 million deal in 2012 and is considered one of Belgium’s most influential players ahead of their participation in the 2014 World Cup.
Speaking to Sport Wereld while on international duty with Belgium, Witsel admitted that he wants to follow in the footsteps of his Belgian team-mates who ply their trade in England.
“Indeed, I hope for a big club,” Witsel said.
“I also see my team mates play at teams like Chelsea or Manchester United but there will come a day when one of those clubs will show interest and I can leave.
“My preference goes out to the Premier League. Not because half the national team is playing there but because the league is the most watched.”
Witsel played alongside Fellaini for two years at Standard Liege and was on United’s radar before he moved to Benfica in 2011. Since then, he has established himself with Zenit and has already made over 40 appearances for Belgium aged just 24.
He is a fantastic midfielder but would come with a hefty price tag. He joined Zenit in a €40 million deal and is certainly a better player now than he was when he moved to Russia so his price would be upwards of €40 million this summer, especially if Belgium do well in the World Cup.
Despite that, David Moyes’ €40 million deadline day move for Sami Khedira showed that there is money there for the right player and Witsel’s box-to-box style would certainly bring something new to United’s ailing midfield.
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