Zenit seal Witsel transfer
Belgian midfielder joins Russian giants on a permanent deal
By Luis Mira. Last Updated: September 3, 2012 9:30pm
Axel Witsel: Follows Hulk to Zenit on a remarkable day of spending for the Russian club
Zenit St Petersburg have continued an extraordinary day in the transfer market after adding Belgium international Axel Witsel to the signing of Hulk.
The 23-year-old midfielder signed for Benfica from Standard Liege last summer in a €7 million (£5.5m) deal and quickly became a key player at the Portuguese club.
But it is believed that Benfica were unable to hold onto their prized asset after Zenit put together an offer which reportedly met the player's €40m (£31.7m) release clause.
The transfer comes as another heavy blow for Benfica coach Jorge Jesus, who lost Javi Garcia to Manchester City on the last day of the British summer transfer window.
Witsel will follow in the footsteps of Brazil international Hulk, who joined Zenit from Porto earlier on Monday in a reported €60m (£47.5) transfer.
The Russian transfer window remains open until later in September.