Axel Witsel insists snubbing Juventus for Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian was “a lifestyle choice”.
The Belgian midfielder had agreed a move to the Bianconeri last summer, but Zenit St Petersburg pulled the plug on transfer deadline day.
General manager Giuseppe Marotta believed that the Scudetto holders would complete the deal either this month or in the summer, but Witsel has now moved to China for a €20m fee and wages of €18m per year.
“There was the same controversy when I chose Zenit,” Witsel shrugged, speaking to HLN.
“People can write or say what they want, I’m used to being under the spotlight. This was also a lifestyle choice, I’m sure this will be an enriching experience for both me and my family.
“One day my children will be able to say that they’ve lived in both China and Russia.”