If you had any kind of doubts about the reports regarding Juventus’ supposed newfound interest in signing Zenit St. Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, the words of the club’s manager might change this quite a bit.
Here is what Mr. Mircea Lucescu had to say about Witsel’s future with the club when he spoke to the press on Tuesday:
"We had a serious offer from Everton for Witsel, but the player refused it. Now the player and Zenit have two days to find an agreement with Juventus for his possible transfer. These are players with value (also in reference to Garay's potential sale) that Zenit acquired 3/4 years ago by spending a lot of money, this impacted financial fair play. Should these players be sold we can make other transfers later.”
(Source: Gianluca Di Marzio)
We know that there’s been talk of Juventus having a deal with Witsel when he becomes a free agent next year with his contract expiring. And with Lucescu is saying above about the financial fair play implications about to come down, Zenit will likely want to cash in on one of their assets instead of losing him for free in about eight or 10 months.
That’s just a guess on my part, but if you basically say you’re negotiating with a club that has long been an admirer of one of your players, you can basically connect the dots.
We thought a deal for Witsel was dead not so long ago. But Monday came word that not only were Juventus trying to get a deal going once again for the 27-year-old Belgian, but that Beppe Marotta and Co. had already had a €15 million offer declined. No surprise there considering Zenit supposedly want anything around €22 million for Witsel and his world-class head of hair.
Negotiations, however, aren’t done yet. With two days to go before the transfer window closes, this surely isn’t the last we’ve heard of Witsel and a possible move to Juventus this summer.