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 [£254,000] a week, has seen the Belgium international join the likes of Oscar and Tevez in making the move to the Far East for a fee understood to be €21 million [£18m].
Witsel, who has made 76 appearances for Belgium, will now play under former World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro at Tianjin after penning a five-year deal.
“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 directors 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.”
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