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Borussia Dortmund sign Axel Witsel from Chinese club Tianjin Quanjian for £20m

Axel Witsel is back in Europe after leaving Chinese Super League club Tianjin Quanjian for Bundesliga side Borussia Dortmund.

The 29-year-old Belgium international midfielder joined up with the Dortmund pre-season training camp in Bad Ragaz, Switzerland, on Monday afternoon.

Witsel joins Dortmund after they activated his release clause, believed to be £20million, to bring him to Germany.

After the World Cup, it was my goal to move from China back to Europe,’ he told the club website. ‘I’m totally happy and also proud to join Dortmund. After our first conversation, I did not have to think twice, because for me Dortmund is one of the best clubs on the continent. I cannot wait to play in front of 81,000 people.’

The big-haired midfielder impressed this summer at the World Cup, where Belgium finished a best ever third place.

This caught the attention of major European clubs, and Witsel is back on the continent after agreeing a four-year contract with Dortmund.

Witsel, who has 96 international caps, left Zenit Saint Petersburg for China in 2017, having started his career at Standard Liege and spent a year with Benfica.

However after a season with Tianjin, where he played 35 matches and scored five goals, he has decided to leave Asian football.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said: ‘For many months we have been keen to sign Axel Witsel and we are very happy that he has chosen us.

‘Axel is a player with a great deal of international experience who has all the skills to shape the central midfield: tactical understanding, tackling power, speed, creativity and mentality.

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