Newcastle United have climbed above Aston Villa in the race for Axel Tuanzebe, although Steve Bruce might face financial problems completing the deal.

According to Football Insider, Newcastle United have leapfrogged Aston Villa in the race for Axel Tuanzebe. The Manchester United defender looked set on joining the Villans earlier this week, but Steve Bruce’s side somehow entered the picture to make their case.

Tuanzebe’s future was a big question mark earlier in the window. It was problematic for United that no interest came along for a player entering his final contract year. However, the last weeks has seen clubs come forward to take him temporarily, with Aston Villa considered to be the front-runner a few days ago.

Manchester United then decided to extend his contract by another year, giving themselves the security of protecting his value. A move to Aston Villa was on the verge until Newcastle came into the picture. The Tyneside club are offering more assurances to Tuanzebe ahead of the next season, which has become a tempting prospect.

While Villa’s Dean Smith always considered Tuanzebe to provide cover and competition to Tyrone Mings and Erik Konsa, Steve Bruce has gone a level better. The Newcastle boss wants the Manchester United defender for a starting role, as he seeks an athletic and pacey figure at the back.

Newcastle United and Aston Villa vying to sign Tuanzebe. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Newcastle United and Aston Villa vying to sign Tuanzebe. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

However, finances considered, Manchester United are asking for a multi-million-pound loan fee and want Newcastle to cover Tuanzebe’s full wages. Money is already short at St. James Park, and Bruce could divert most of his funds towards the signing of Joe Willock from Arsenal.

Meanwhile, Villa have the resources handy after making the £100 million sale of Jack Grealish to Manchester City recently. However, the prospect of playing week-in-week-out for a Premier League club is too good a guarantee for Tuanzebe to join Newcastle instead of Dean Smith’s side.

Tuanzebe has struggled for game-time with Manchester United, making only 19 appearances in all competitions last term. He can play at centre-back and a right-back and holds pedigree covering the defensive midfield area. Moreover, at 23 years of age, he will want to play more and make relevant contributions to the team.

From Tuanzebe’s point of view, Newcastle will represent better value, considering Bruce keeps his promise to provide regular playing time. Aston Villa might be a better club in terms of form and prospects, but Newcastle might just pip them to signing the versatile Manchester United defender.

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