Aston Villa are reportedly looking to make defender Axel Tuanzebe’s stay from Manchester United permanent, and are hoping to agree an £8 million deal for him.
Manchester United have been in the market for defensive reinforcements, especially for centre-backs, with many players linked. One of their young stars, Axel Tuanzebe, is set to return to the club after a successful loan spell at Aston Villa and there is talk, according to Daily Mail of the newly promoted Premier League side wanting to sign the defender permanently for £8 million.
Tuanzebe enjoyed a strong season with Aston Villa in the Championship and helped them achieve promotion back to the Premier League. And, Dean Smith wants Tuanzebe to be a part of the team that embarks on a first top-flight season after three years in the second tier. Villa are ready to pay Manchester United £8 million for the 21-year-old, although there could be complications.
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been impressed by Tuanzebe’s performances with Villa and is reportedly wants him in his squad next term. Despite the promise of the player’s talents, there is no guarantee he would receive as much first-team minutes as at Villa.
There is talk of a defensive overhaul at Old Trafford, with the club linked with some of the most highly sought-after defenders. While no concrete links point towards progress being made in pursuit of a particular centre-back, it is clear that Manchester United will stop at nothing to bolster the heart of defence this summer.
Tuanzebe’s future depends on how many of those high profile targets Manchester United can sign during the summer. If the club does sign defenders, then the prospects of Tuanzebe playing regularly are slim, and he could well prefer a return to Aston Villa where he is virtually guaranteed regular minutes.
Alternatively, United could be open to the idea of sending Tuanzebe back to Aston Villa for another loan spell. Aston Villa though, as per the report, could insist on a clause that allows them to buy him permanently next summer, in which case a sell-on clause could be inserted.
In the scenario that he joins Villa on-loan once again, Manchester United are likely to offer the defender a new deal, for his current contract expires at the end of next season. Tuanzebe has his future in his own hands, as things stand.
If he refuses to sign a new deal at his parent club, Manchester United could be forced to cash in on him and accept the £8 million that Aston Villa are offering. But, the lure of making a mark at Old Trafford is still an open option, choosing which, Tuanzebe can fight to be recognised in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first-team setup and take a small risk at this stage of his career.