The Belgium international was widely expected to complete a protracted switch to Juventus but has opted for the higher wages on offer from Tianjin Quanjian
Axel Witsel has completed his January transfer to Chinese Super League outfit Tianjin Quanjian after turning down Juventus.
The 27-year-old came within hours of joining the Italian giants in the summer, only for a deadline-day move to fall through, and was widely expected to complete the protracted transfer this month.
However interest from China, which included a reported wage of €300,000 a week, has seen the Belgium international join the likes of Oscar and Tevez in making the move to the Far East.
« It was a very difficult decision because on one hand there was a great team and a top club like Juventus, » Witsel told Tuttosport on Monday. « 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. »
Witsel, who has made 76 appearances for Belgium, will now play under manager, and World Cup-winning captain, Fabio Cannavaro at Tianjin Quanjian.