Axel Witsel vows to continue at Zenit
Axel Witsel has pledged his future to Zenit St Petersburg, saying he wants to win trophies with the Russian club before considering the next step in his career.
Witsel, 24, has been the subject of transfer speculation this summer with Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco both reportedly interested in acquiring the Belgium international. According to Belgian media reports, PSG even made a €40 million offer for Witsel, matching the sum Zenit paid Benfica for the midfielder a year ago.
However, despite having previously not ruled out a move to either of the Ligue 1 duo, Witsel told the media ahead of his country's friendly with France that Zenit St Petersburg, where he signed a five-year deal last summer, remains his home for the foreseeable future.
"I don't think anything will happen," he said. "Zenit are not planning to sell anyone this season. In terms of team spirit and performances, we're better than last season. I feel good there and I want to win titles with Zenit before doing anything else whatsoever."
Witsel helped Zenit to finish in the runners-up spot in his maiden Russian Premier League season, though both he and fellow summer recruit Hulk came under fire from fans and team-mates alike, notably with Russian international Igor Denisov criticising the duo's hefty wages.
Denisov's recent move to Anzhi Makhachkala means further friction should be avoided, but Witsel said he is ready to take the rough with the smooth.
"You shouldn't leave just as soon as things become difficult in football. You have to accept it. That's what I did last year even if it wasn't easy at the start. This year it's completely different. I don't have any feeling of vengeance with regard to that player."