Axel Witsel has revealed he rejected Juventus for a money-spinning move to China to look after his family.
The Belgium international was a target for some of Europe’s top clubs , only to join Tianjin Quanjian instead.
Zenit confirmed last night he left the club to join the Chinese Super League side in a deal that is reportedly worth a staggering £255,000-per-week.
And the midfielder has explained his decision to head to East Asia.
Witsel is quoted as telling Italian publication Tuttosport: “It was a very difficult decision because on one hand there was a great team and a top club like Juventus.
“But on the other there was a crucial offer for my family that I couldn’t turn down.
“The leadership at Juventus have always behaved like gentlemen with me and I can only be grateful to them.
“I will cheer for Juventus and I hope they can win the Champions League. Then who knows, maybe one day in the future our paths will finally meet.”
Zenit wished Witsel well ahead of the move: “Thanks Axel Witsel for the time spent in St. Petersburg and we wish you good luck at your new team.”