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Belgium's Witsel 'on cusp' of Borussia Dortmund move from China

AFP  |  Berlin 

Belgian is "on the cusp" of joining on a four-year deal, the club announced today.

The 29-year-old has been playing for Chinese side Tianjin Quanjian since January 2017, but his strong performances in Belgium's run to semi-finals have paved the way for a return to

"are on the cusp of signing the national Axel Witsel," the German giants said.

"bronze medallist joined up with the BVB team today (Monday)... with the group currently undertaking their summer training camp in Bad Ragaz (Switzerland)."

said that Witsel had activated his release clause -- reported to be around 20 million euros ($23 million) -- before the Chinese deadline day on Sunday, and that his move would be confirmed in the coming days.

The former Zenit St Petersburg star has scored nine goals in 96 international appearances, and played six times at in

"After the World Cup, I was determined to transfer back to Europe," said Witsel.

"I am really happy and also proud that I will soon be able to play for BVB. I didn't have to think about it for very long after our first discussion because is one of the best clubs on the continent in my opinion.

"I honestly cannot wait to run out in front of 81,000 people."

Witsel will become new Dortmund Lucien Favre's second major signing of the close-season, after also bringing to Signal Iduna Park from Werder Bremen for 20 million euros.

Dortmund have struggled to put any pressure on Bayern Munich in the in recent seasons, and only just snatched the fourth and final spot ahead of Leverkusen on goal difference last term.

hailed Witsel's arrival, saying: "Axel is a of great international experience who brings all the qualities required to make a mark on the BVB midfield: tactical awareness, strength when challenging for the ball, pace, creativity, and mentality.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, August 06 2018. 22:10 IST