With Manchester United being linked with a move for Zenit St Petersburg’s Axel Witsel, former scout Ed van Stijn has revealed that he continually implored the club to sign the midfielder.
United are in the market for a midfielder and are also thought to be looking at another player that slipped their net in Paul Pogba but like Pogba, United could have had a ready made solution to their problems in Witsel if they had listened to the 70-year-old.
Van Stijn claims that at various points in Witsel’s youth he approached United to sign the midfielder, all to no avail and as he continued to improve and impress he continued to keep tabs on the midfielder.
Speaking to Belgian publication Voetbalnieuws Van Stijn said:
“Witsel used to catch my eyes in youth games when I saw him play for Standard.
“From the U14 to U17 I followed him closely, later from a distance, but every time I see him at work, I think ‘what a class act’.
“For years I tried to draw Manchester United attention to Witsel and insisted on his arrival. It was incomprehensible that it was never listened to, because he was already an exceptional talent.”
United’s decision to ignore Van Stijn could prove costly as a move for the Belgian will likely cost over £30m given that he was signed from Benfica for £29m in 2012, things could be made even worse if he signs for another club as Chelsea are also reported to be interested in the 26 year old this summer.