Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel has been linked with both Manchester United and Juventus in recent weeks, as per the Mirror and HLN, and he has told Voetbalkrant.com via Calciomercato that a transfer is possible in the summer.
26-year-old Witsel currently plays for Zenit Saint Petersburg in the Russian Premier League, but he is expected to try and find a more prestigious league in the coming years. The HLN report claims that Juve have already opened negotiations with him as they look to sign a replacement for Paul Pogba, who may be leaving Serie A in the summer, but Premier League clubs have been put on alert with Witsel admitting that a move to England has been a long-held dream for him, as stated in the Express.
Aside from Manchester United, Arsenal are named in the Mirror article as one of a number of interested parties, but it now appears that Juve have claimed the advantage in the race for Witsel’s signature, with the midfielder telling Voetbalkrant.com via Calciomercato that his playing idols are some of Juventus’s greatest ever players - Zinedine Zidane and Andrea Pirlo.
Witsel said: “My idol? Zidane. [Playing] now I would say Pirlo, who is a fantastic midfielder and a class player.”
Whilst such words could be construed as mere praise for some of the great players of the modern game, Witsel was pressed on the chances of a summer move away from Zenit and refused to discount a move to Juventus.
“Juve?” he added. “It's a possibility, one that I will not exclude. We will see in the summer.”
For United, now may be the chance to start tracking other targets ahead of Witsel. However, Witsel’s future may be linked to Paul Pogba as United could now make a swoop for the player if Witsel arrives in Turin.