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Witsel’s wish: Belgian reveals desire to play for Manchester United

| 21.01.2015

Manchester United, 11/2 with Coral to win the FA Cup this season, have received overtures from Marouane Fellaini’s Belgium teammate, Axel Witsel, who currently plays for Zenit St Petersburg.

“I want to play in one of the top clubs in Europe one day,” Witsel said.

“It’s true that I like the Premier League, because it is one of the best league’s in the world, for me, together with Germany and Spain. It is a very good league, it is a crazy league. A lot of my colleagues play there, but we will see.

“I am still young, only 26. We‘ll see in the future. I have always liked Manchester United from when I was young.”

“I don’t know anything about it. I am here in Qatar training to be focused on my team Zenit and to try to regain a good physical condition. Even during the holidays I did not think about leaving, I am focused.”

Speaking about his relationship with Fellaini, Witsel continued: “It’s really good. I played with Fellaini at Standard Liege, so I know him well.”

However, there is a suggestion that the two players are similar in style. Rather than just stick to one position, they both like to put themselves about, in more of a box-to-box role.

More than anything, Louis van Gaal’s side need a defensive-minded midfielder, in the mould of a Javier Mascherano or Nemanja Matic, who is happy to sit in front of the rearguard and intercept opposing attacks.

Although Witsel clearly has quality, Van Gaal may also question the player’s ambition. Before joining Zenit from Benfica in 2012, he reportedly had offers from other top clubs around Europe who are positioned to challenge for major honours on a regular basis.

It is no secret that the Russian league pays lucrative wages and this would undoubtedly have been a contributing factor in his decision-making process.



Matt Haynes

A long-suffering Leeds fan, Matt studied Sports Journalism at university, and has a plethora of multi-industry experience. Having worked on behalf of multiple hedge funds and top-tier investment banks in executive search, he has also had a stint with the BBC and the Press Association. Outside of work, he pursues entrepreneurial activities and likes to keep fit.
Although he has interviewed current England manager Roy Hodgson as well as Rafa Benitez and a number of other names, he is honoured to have spent time in the company of Gordon Banks. Matt enjoys cultivating long-lasting professional and personal relationships, is solution orientated, and supports Coral’s sports content provision.