Spurs were heavily linked with a move for the Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel in the summer and it looks as if the Belgian could be leaving the Russian club shortly.

The 27-year old’s contract expires at the end of the season and Witsel has spoken out on his desire for a change of scene.

“I still have a contract for one more year come June and the club know how I feel. I would like to play in a bigger league.

“I cannot say that I will 100 per cent leave, but we have not held talks over a new deal and my intention is to leave this summer. I want to focus on finishing the season on a high, then there’s the Euros and then we will see what happens.

“I spoke to a number of clubs last summer, but it was not about money for Zenit. They wanted to keep me because of the Champions League and there was no time to sign a replacement.

“When a player has just one year left on his contract, a club cannot demand too much money. I don’t think Zenit will be asking €40million for me.”

It is thought that Tottenham were willing to pay £17m for Witsel but that fell well short of Zenit’s valuation. At the time it was assumed that the 6ft 1″ Belgian international was earmarked for a defensive midfield role.

Since the start of the season, Eric Dier has made that position his own and it is questionable as to whether the club will be looking to pay a large fee for an established player to compete with him, or instead move for someone with a lesser reputation to act as cover.

In Witsel’s favour is his versatility. During his time at Benfica he played as a winger, attacking midfielder, box-to-box midfielder, defensive midfielder and right-back. With a Champions League campaign likely next season, such an experienced and versatile figure could be invaluable. Watch him in action below.



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