Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel admits he will not complete a move away from the Russian giants amid interest from Tottenham Hotspur, despite being keen on a fresh challenge. Mauricio Pochettino is still hopeful of adding at least one more player to his squad before Tuesday 1 September's 6pm (BST) transfer deadline, and had been linked with a move for Belgian international
The Daily Telegraph have claimed the Argentine coach wants another midfielder and another striker. He sanctioned an offer of £13.1m ($20m) for Witsel over the weekend, according to Sky Sports. The 26 year old, who arrived at the club as part of the £64m deal that also brought Brazil striker Hulk to Russia in 2012, has a release clause of €100m written into his contract, but had been hopeful of securing a move away.
While the Russian transfer window has closed, Witsel would still be able to make a move to the Premier League. However he appears to have given up hope after Zenit failed to bring in a replacement for him.
"No, I will not leave any more," Witsel was quoted as saying by The Mirror. "Zenit took the decision yesterday because in that short time they cannot find someone to play in my position. It is a pity because I hoped to make a transfer."
AC Milan were also interested in the former Benfica midfielder, as revealed by club CEO Adriano Galliani who told reporters on Monday 31 August the Rossoneri simply ran out of time to get a deal over the line.
Tottenham had also been linked with a move for Southampton midfielder Victor Waynama, whose future on the south coast came under significant doubt when Saints boss Ronald Koeman left him out of the match day squad on 30 August. Koeman complained his player was not "mentally and physically good enough to play".
Koeman, however, is keen to retain the Kenya international having already lost Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United this summer and remains confident the player will remain at St Mary's this summer, telling Sky Sports: "They will stay in Southampton, I'm 100% sure about that."