Axel Witsel
Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel has 'always liked' Manchester UnitedGetty

Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel had revealed his admiration for Manchester United.

Belgium international Witsel was linked with a move to Old Trafford earlier in his career before he moved to Zenit in 2012, with the Russian champions signing him for £32m.

But the 26-year-old has now sparked transfer speculation by hinting he would be open to a move Old Trafford in the future.

Speaking to Bleacher Report, he said: "I have always liked Manchester United from when I was young.

"I want to play in one of the top clubs in Europe one day. It is true that I like the Premier League, because it is one of the best leagues in the world, for me, together with Germany and Spain.

"It is very good league, it is a crazy league. A lot of my colleagues play there, but we will see. I am still young, only 26. We will see in the future."

While United are yet to show any interest in bringing Witsel to Old Trafford, a move would see him reunite with former Standard Liege teammate Marouane Fellaini.

In recent days, United have also been credited with interest in another key member of the Belgium team, former Chelsea midfielder Kevin de Bruyne.

De Bruyne, who left Stamford Bridge in January 2014 after falling out with Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho, has excelled in the Bundesliga after joining Wolfsburg and it would now appear United manager Louis van Gaal is in the race for the former Genk starlet's signature, with Bild suggesting the Dutchman has earmarked the schemer as a summer target.

Those claims would appear to have some weight, with Wolfsburg coach Dieter Hecking acknowledging interest from Old Trafford.

"It is normal that clubs like Manchester United look at top people," he told Bild. "This is recognition for both his and our work."