Roberto Martinez leaves Belgium door open for Axel Witsel after China move

Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has insisted Axel Witsel remains part of his plans despite moving to China in January.

Witsel, 28, joined Tianjin Quanjian in a €20 million move from Zenit St Petersburg last month with his reported €18m annual salary a major factor in his decision.

Critics suggested the lucrative nature of the deal offset what would be the likely loss of his status in the game and his place in the Belgium national side.

However, the former Benfica man, who featured at both the 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016, also stated his ambition of continuing to play for his country.

Martinez, who took over the Red Devils after Marc Wilmots' departure last summer, has told La Derniere Heure the door remains open for Witsel.

"When Axel signed for Tianjin, I simply noted it," the former Wigan Athletic and Everton manager said. "Now, he's still among the players likely to be called up. So we're going to follow him very carefully."

Belgium currently sit top of their World Cup qualifying group, having won all four of their games to date with Witsel starting all four and scoring once.

Belgium's next World Cup qualifier is at home to Greece on March 25, with a friendly against Russia three days later.