This is how it works – One club (Benfica) announce that their player (Axel Witsel) will cost a lot of money (€40 million) to anyone interested. Of course, a bigger club (Real Madrid) immediately starts probing, seemingly willing to pay the outrageous release clause.
Axel Witsel has spent only one season so far with Benfica, making a switch from the wing, where he played at for Standard Liege during his five seasons for the club, to the middle of the pitch, where he has been highly successful. Witsel, 23, is part of the new ‘golden-generation’ for Belgium which hasn’t really done anything outside club football and fetching high prices for their services.
Real Madrid have been following the midfielder ever since his impressive displays in the Champions League last season for Benfica, resulting in a quarterfinals appearance, ending against the eventual champions, Chelsea. Witsel played in 48 matches, scoring 5 goals in all competitions, winning the Taca da Liga with the club.
So, days after Benfica president Luis Filipe Vieira announced that taking away Witsel from the club will cost any team interested in him €40 million, Real Madrid have reportedly already begun negotiations, willing to pay the high price Vieira has set for the Belgian midfielder.
Witsel spent five seasons with Standard Liege, winning two league titles and scoring 33 goals, including 10 during his last season, before making the move to Benfica. He has also made 28 appearances for the national team, scoring 5 goals.
Real Madrid have yet to make any purchases this summer, with Luka Modric being their main target, although the negotiations with Tottenham, asking for £40 million, haven’t been going so well so far. Maybe the link to Witsel, who can play the same position as Modric, is just a tactical ploy to get Spurs to hurry up about their decision to finally sell Luka Modric after more than a year of holding on to the reluctant player.