Belgium international midfielder Axel Witsel has hired lawyers to speak with his club Tianjin Quanjian following days of confusion over his release clause, according to reports.
It had been claimed that German giants Borussia Dortmund were willing to pay Witsel's €20m release clause ahead of the season, and an offer had even been submitted to acquire the midfielder this summer.
However, the Chinese club rejected that a release clause even existed in the player's contract, instead choosing to offer Witsel to Premier League giants Manchester United and Chelsea to recoup as much money as possible on their investment from 2017.
Witsel has since hired a lawyer to enter talks with his club Tianjin Quanjian and find out where the disagreement over his release clause has originated from, according to Het Nieuwsblad, with the Belgian midfielder quietly hoping that his move to Borussia Dortmund can be completed before the new season starts.
Tianjin Quanjian coach Sosa claims that a release clause does, in fact, exist in Witsel's contract, but that it only becomes active during the Chinese transfer window - from January 1 to February 28.
"As far as I know, Witsel has a release clause in his contract," Sousa claimed. "However, it can only be activated during the Chinese transfer period. I am convinced that Witsel will return to us."
All should become clear regarding Witsel's future over the coming weeks. Regardless of which party turns out to be wrong, it is clear that all involved would prefer their disagreements to be sorted without the involvement of FIFA - something which has already been mentioned.