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23rd Jul 2018

Axel Witsel on verge of move to Borussia Dortmund after 18 months in China

The former Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder spent 18 months in the Chinese Super League

Wayne Farry

Axel Witsel

The Belgian star impressed during his country’s World Cup run

Belgium midfielder Axel Witsel is reportedly on the verge of a move to Borussia Dortmund, with a move said to be close.

The 29-year-old was an integral part of his country’s third-place finish at the 2018 World Cup in Russia this summer, performing admirably throughout as Belgium bowed out at the semi-finals before a third-place play-off victory over England.

The central midfielder began his career at Standard Liege before making the move to Benfica in 2011. He spent one season at the Portuguese club before making a surprise switch to Russian giants Zenit St. Petersburg.

He spent four years at the Russian side before making yet another surprise move, this time to Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian in January 2017, despite concrete interest from Juventus.

Eighteen months on he looks set to return to Europe with the Bundesliga giants in a deal said to be worth €20 million.

According to reports on Belgian news site HLN, Witsel’s deal in China was worth as much as €20 million per season, meaning that – despite his short spell there – he’s done fairly well for himself.

Should the move go through he’ll provide experience to a Dortmund side which is seeing an increasing number of talented youth team players rise through the ranks.