United want to bring midfielder to Old Trafford next summer.
Manchester United are planning a summer bid for Zenit St Petersburg midfielder Axel Witsel, fanatix has learnt.
Sir Alex Ferguson was interested in signing the Belgium international last summer but the mega-rich Russians blew the Red Devils out of the water, paying Benfica £32m for Witsel.
But the 23-year-old, whose father is from the Caribbean, has struggled to settle in St Petersburg and was reportedly left disgusted by a open letter from Zenit fans urging the club not to sign any non-white or non-European players.
United are preparing for life without veterans Ryan Giggs, 39, and Paul Scholes, 38, and Ferguson is understood to see Witsel as a key addition to his squad next summer.
The Scot is hopeful of landing the Belgian star for considerably less than Zenit paid for him, banking of the former Standard Liege player to demand an exit.
Under FIFA legislation, Witsel cannot play for another club this season but is interested in joining compatriots Marouane Fellaini, Eden Hazard and Jan Vertonghen in the Premier League next term.
Witsel, who can play in central midfield or the right wing, has made a decent start to life at Zenit, scoring twice in eight appearances and impressing in the group stage of the Champions League.
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