United chase bone-crunching midfield enforcer

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Reported Manchester United target Axel Witsel has told Standard Liege he wants to leave in the summer.

The controversial 22-year-old was once suspended for eight matches for a challenge that snapped an opponent's ankle - for which Witsel also received death threats - but is widely regarded as an exciting midfield prospect.

According to talkSPORT, United are keen to bring the Belgium international to Old Trafford after he informed Liege chiefs he plans to leave the club when the transfer window reopens.

United have reportedly kept a close eye on the progress of Witsel - who made his Standard debut aged only 17 - but the Old Trafford club will face stiff competition from the continent in their pursuit of his signature.


It is thought that Sir Alex Ferguson sees Witsel as a potential replacement for Owen Hargreaves, who is expected to leave Old Trafford at the end of the season after an injury-blighted spell with United.

The United boss is also said to be monitoring Roma star Daniele De Rossi as he looks to add some extra tenacity to his midfield.

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