Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and PSG could have signed Axel Witsel of Borussia Dortmund


Axel Witsel could have joined Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at various points in his career, but he feels confirmed in his decision to sign for Borussia Dortmund last year.

Witsel is in his second season in Dortmund, after joining the Bundesliga club from the Chinese Tianjin Quanjin team with a four-year contract.

In his debut campaign he missed the Bundesliga title for a moment. However, Witsel believes he is in the right club after there has been no possible move to other European heavyweights.

Speaking with Goal and DAZN, the former Zenit midfielder explained in detail how he lost the Madrid entry to Benfica before choosing to return to Zenit before moving to Juve.

"I could have joined Real Madrid when Jose Mourinho was there," Witsel said. "But then Real signed Luka Modric, so a transfer to Madrid made no sense to me.

"Shortly before the end of the transfer period called Zenit. I had good discussions with the responsible people and in the end I was in agreement. I am an open person and I was not afraid of Russia.

"My contract with Zenit has expired and I wanted to move to Turin with Juventus. I had already passed the medical check-up and actually just had to sign the contract.

"I waited all day in the office and Zenit told me to come back. In retrospect, it was perhaps a twist of fate. Maybe it wasn't the right time."

It is said that United and PSG were in the running for its signing in 2018, but the prospect of regular first-team football convinced Witsel to choose Dortmund.

"First [Dortmund sporting director] Michael Zorc approached me, then [coach] Lucien Favre called me," added Witsel.

"I also had other offers, maybe I could have gone to Paris or Manchester, but I didn't want to wait. And I had the feeling that I was the first choice for Dortmund. It's important to feel good when going to a new club.

"So after the talks with Zorc, Favre and [CEO] Hans-Joachim Watzke, I decided to join the BVB. Dortmund is a level club – and I really wanted to join a European-level club.

"Maybe it was my last chance at age 29. It was the right decision."



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