Witsel snubs Juve for China

02 January 2017 08:42:08 EST

Axel Witsel says he will keep an eye on the fortunes of Juventus, after opting against a move to Turin from Zenit St Petersburg.

The 27-year-old Belgium international midfielder was close to joining Juve last summer and was expected to finally make the move the Serie A champions either this month or at the end of the season.

However, Witsel has now opted to take up the offer of a lucrative four-year contract with Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian, admitting that the offer was too good to turn down.

He told Tuttosport: "It was a very difficult decision, because on the one hand there was a huge, top club in Juventus, but on the other hand there was an irresistible offer for the future of my family.

"The Bianconeri management always behaved like real gentlemen and I can only be grateful to them.

"I will be a Juventus fan and I hope that Juve will win the Champions League - who knows maybe our paths will finally cross in future."

Tianjin Quanjian and Cannavaro have also been linked with a move to sign another player from Juve, Croatia striker Mario Mandzukic.

However, he is reported to be against the move and seems set to remain in Turin for the time being.

If that is the case, compatriot Nikola Kalinic of Fiorentina is rumoured to be another option for Tianjin Quanjian, who are preparing for their first season in the Chinese Super League.

Meanwhile, Fiorentina are 1212/1 to win the Coppa Italia this season, with Juve priced at 1/2 and Inter Milan 1212/1.

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