Napoli are on the verge of sealing a shock January move for Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe.

According to Transfer Market Web, Napoli are closing on the capture of Axel Tuanzebe. The Manchester United defender is currently on loan at Aston Villa until the end of the season. But his spell at Villa Park could come to be a premature end, with the player expected to move to Naples during the second half of the campaign.

Napoli have indeed managed to secure a loan deal for Tuanzebe, with an obligation to buy clause embedded in the contract. The Italian giants may soon wrap up the deal once they manage to agree on a loan fee they need to pay to the Premier League giants.

A product of the Manchester United youth academy, Tuanzebe’s potential exit from Old Trafford is quite unfortunate given all his talents. But the youngster had evidently fallen behind the likes of Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly and new signing Raphael Varane in the pecking order, which led to his loan move to Aston Villa in the first place.

Even during his time at Villa Park, the centre-back has struggled to oust Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa as first-team regulars. As a result, he has mustered only six starts in the Premier League so far, none of which have come under new coach Steven Gerrard.

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The Villa manager is already targeting Joe Gomez as a potential replacement for the Manchester United starlet in January, thus opening the avenue for Napoli to lure the Englishman to Naples. The club’s interest in Tuanzebe is not very surprising either, as coach Luciano Spalletti braces himself for life without Kostas Manolas.

The Greek international has agreed to join Olympiacos in January, thus accentuating the need for a new face at centre-back. While the Partenopei are in the market for Chelsea outcast Malang Sarr, Tuanzebe could be a more logical option due to the defender’s experience and pedigree in English football.

As for Manchester United, the potential exit of their academy star could be a blessing for coach Ralf Rangnick as he looks to replenish his squad and make room for players that are better suited for his tactical philosophy. The German tactician has no shortage of options either, with VfL Bochum centre-back Armel Bella-Kotchap emerging as one of four Bundesliga talents currently on the club’s radar.

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