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Phil Costa

Bayern ‘insisted’ on Witsel transfer before Borussia Dortmund switch


The midfielder could have been wearing red instead of yellow and black

Axel Witsel has revealed that Bayern Munich “insisted” on signing him a year before his move to Borussia Dortmund.

The Belgian was playing for Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian at the time and Carlo Ancelotti got in touch over a possible move.

However, Bayern opted to sign Corentin Tolisso instead, allowing Witsel to join their Klassiker rivals one season later.

“Mr Ancelotti insisted on a transfer with Fabio Cannavaro, my former coach at Tianjin,” he told Sportbild.

“But Fabio told him relatively quickly that he would not let me go and that I would be staying in China.

“It didn’t work out but that’s fine because Dortmund was a challenge which I absolutely wanted to accept.”

Witsel has been a standout performer in the Bundesliga this season with coach Lucien Favre already labelling him “different class”.