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Zenit midfield star flirts with United

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Oh Axel, you cheeky devil!

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Zenit Saint Petersburg's midfield star Axel Witsel has been flirting with Manchester United in an interview with Bleacher Report. Making the kind of statements that probably won't particularly endear him to his current fans, the Belgian admitted that he wants "to play in one of the top clubs in Europe one day," and that he has liked the Reds "from when [he] was young."

Now, while this irrefutably proves Witsel is a Good Lad with impeccable taste in football teams, it unfortunately won't mean anything more than that. As it happens, TBB (or at least this third of it) thinks that Witsel's defensive steel would offer an outstanding excuse to finally give Michael Carrick the boot and beef up United's midfield, but rarely do Zenit ever sell their best players.

Perhaps the reason for that is because they overpay by such a margin in the first place. Witsel set them back an eye-watering £35 million when they prised him away from Benfica three years ago. That's the kind of price you'd be expecting to pay for one of the world's top midfield enforcers; not one who'll probably never achieve more than a respectable place firmly in Europe's second-tier.

So, Witsel loves us, we love him too. But this relationship is unlikely to be anything more than a long-distance one. We're sorry, Axel.