Newcastle United aer set to sign Manchester United’s young defender Axel Tuanzebe on loan despite Aston Villa’s late attempt to hijack the transfer.

According to the reports in Football Insider, Newcastle United are set to win the race to sign highly-rated Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe on a season-long loan beating Aston Villa to the 23-year-old’s transfer.

Since returning from his excellent loan stint at Aston Villa, Tuanzebe has shown glimpses of his talent at Old Trafford but never cemented himself in the starting role. He failed to impress in the given opportunities and irregular game-time and recurring injuries only added more misery for the Englishman.

Manchester United have already announced an agreement for the signing of world-class centre-back Raphael Varane and are now ready to offload their academy graduate who is now further down the pecking order. It is believed that Tuanzebe has turned down an approach from the Villans as he wants more playing time and prefers working under his old boss Steve Bruce at Newcastle.

Villa also have made a late attempt for the player, who is versatile and can also play in the full-back role, while also providing cover for Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa after they let Bjorn Engels go to back Belgian side Royal Antwerp earlier in the window.

Axel Tuanzebe set for another loan stint? (Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

Axel Tuanzebe set for another loan stint? (Photo by Paul Ellis/AFP/Getty Images)

Dean Smith admires Tuanzebe’s athleticism and versatility which could come in handy for the Villans as they are looking to add quality cover in centre-back and full-back areas.

However, Tuanzebe prefers the Newcastle move as they are offering the Manchester United fringe star a starting role and have given him assurances of more game time than he would otherwise get at Villa. That would be quite a setback for the Villans, who were keen to bring back Tuanzebe after he impressed during his two previous two loan spells at the club and was a key part of their promotion season.

Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce is keen to add pace and young blood to his ageing backline. Tuanzebe, 23, arguably being one of the pacy players at Man United, fits the exact profile. Tuanzebe is quick, athletic, and a solid 1v1 defender. His recovery pace makes him hard to get past. He has got the positional awareness that resists him from making critical tackles.

He is very decent at progressing the ball out from the back and often gets past the first marker very easily with his quickness and dribbling, as a result, opens up spaces for the attacking players to exploit.

Newcastle have earlier been linked with players like Kristoffer Ajer and Tosin Adarabioyo but were put off by the price tags. Bruce has been reportedly handed a small transfer kitty by Mike Ashley, who is actively looking to sell the club. Amidst the financial constraints, Tuanzebe can be regarded as an excellent pick-up by the Magpies. There is nothing as of yet on a potential “option to buy” clause for the player.

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