‘Spurs target’ Axel Witsel sets sights on Zenit transfer

Date published: Wednesday 23rd March 2016 1:03

Alex Witsel: Zenit midfielder wants summer move

Reported Tottenham target Axel Witsel has dropped a major hint he could be heading to the Premier League after admitting he wants to leave Zenit St Petersburg this summer.

Witsel has been a key part of Zenit’s Champions League campaign this season as the Russian side made it to the round of 16 before being beaten by Benfica. Last summer Tottenham were one of the sides looking to secure the services of Witsel but Zenit rejected all approaches due to their involvement in the Champions League.

“I spoke to a number of clubs last summer, but it was not about money for Zenit. They wanted to keep me because of the Champions League and there was no time to sign a replacement,” he told La Derniere Heure.

The Belgium international has 63 caps to his name and has scored six goals from his role in midfield. This summer he will travel with Belgium to France for the European Championships and the player also hopes he’ll be leaving Russia for another side later in the summer.

“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 said.

“I cannot say that I will 100 per cent 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.”

“When a player has just one year left on his contract, a club cannot demand too much money. I don’t think Zenit will be asking €40million for me.”

Since joining Zenit St Petersburg in 2012 from Benfica in a €40million deal Witsel has played 98 times for the Russian side scoring 13 goals.

Speaking to Evening Standard back in January Witsel admitted he was keen on the idea of joining fellow Belgium team-mates in the Premier League.

“Of course when I am in national team we speak about England or other championships. I think everybody knows that the best championship is the Premier League.”

If Witsel decides to leave Zenit for the Premier League then Spurs would be a strong contender for his signature given their strong Belgian connection with Jan Vertonghen, Toby Alderweireld, Mousa Dembele and Nacer Chadli already at the club.

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