Borussia Dortmund have confirmed the signing of Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel from Chinese Super League side Tianjin Quanjian in a deal believed to be worth €20m that the club says will be registered with FIFA in the coming days.
Witsel, who helped Belgium to third place at the World Cup this summer, has agreed a four-year contract with Dortmund that promises to keep him at Westfalenstadion until 2022.
It marks a return to Europe for the player 18 months after he made the move to China. It also represents the first time that 29-year-old Witsel has joined a club in the top five European leagues after previously playing for Zenit St Petersburg, Benifca and Standard Liege.
"After the World Cup, it was my goal to move from China back to Europe," Witsel told BVB.de.
"I'm totally happy and also proud to be allowed to play for BVB soon. After our first conversation, I did not have to think twice, because for me Borussia Dortmund is one of the best clubs on the continent. Honestly, I cannot wait to run aground in front of 81,000 people. "
Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc commented, "For many months we have been keen to sign Axel Witsel and we are very happy that he has chosen Borussia Dortmund.
"Axel is a player with a great deal of international experience who has all the skills to shape the central BVB midfield: tactical understanding, powerful tackling, speed, creativity and mentality."