29 Jun 2016

Liverpool MegaDeal: Klopp keen to sign 'outstanding' €40m playmaker who wants transfer to the Prem

Liverpool are reportedly considering a summer move for Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, who is currently on international duty with Belgium at Euro 2016.

According to an alleged exclusive this week from Italian newspaper Tutto Mercato:

"Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool are all interested in signing Alex Witsel, who is currently on €4m a year [€77k-a-week] net".

When asked on June 13th about Witsel's future, his agent told reporters:

"So far there have been no official offers. Witsel is worth more than €40m for Zenit".

Soon after, Witsel confirmed that he wants to leave Zenit:

"I'd like to play next season in the Premier League or Italy. I hope to move up a level and play in a big European club".

Some info about 27-year old Witsel, hailed this week by Belgium boss Marc Wilmots for his 'outstanding' performances at Euro 2016:

* Central midfielder, who plays most often as a defensive midfielder for Zenit St. Petersburg (60% of games). Current contract expires: 2017.

* Zenit: 31 goals/assists in 156 games (One every 430 mins). 73 apps for the Belgium national team (7 goals).

* Missed only 6 games through injury for his entire career. Averaged 54 games a season for the last five years.

* Apr 2015: On his idols: "Zidane, with his control and skill. I also love Andrea Pirlo. He’s pure class. They've inspired me to keep working on my game, especially with my left foot and my long passing".

* Apr 2015: On his strengths: "I’m the one who’s always calm and relaxed. I think my biggest attribute is the way I shield the ball, and that I don’t tend to give it away".

In my view, this is a no-brainer. Witsel is arguably a clear upgrade on Can, Allen, Lucas, and possibly even Henderson, and his fantastic injury history is a massive positive.

According to his agent, Witsel is worth '€40m', but Zenit's bargaining position is significantly weakened due to Witsel having only one year left on his contract, so that should (in theory) bring the price down.

Worth pursuing?


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