Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe is set to join Napoli on a short-term loan deal, according to The Guardian’s Fabrizio Romano.
The centre-back was sparingly used by former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season. With the arrival of Raphael Varane in the summer, he was permitted to secure a temporary exit.
The 24-year-old rejoined Villans for a third loan stint, but the move has been far from successful with just 685 minutes across all competitions.
He has been ignored since Steven Gerrard took charge as manager. It is now reported that the club have agreed to terminate his loan contract such that he can join Napoli.
The Naples outfit will pay €500,000 for the temporary stint. There is no option to buy as part of the agreement. A medical is already scheduled with the necessary ‘paperwork completed’.
The decision to loan Tuanzebe was the right choice over the summer. The 24-year-old was behind Varane, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly in the pecking order.
With Bailly off to the African Cup of Nations this month, there were suggestions that Tuanzebe could be recalled, but the hierarchy have taken the option of loaning him out again.
Tuanzebe will be playing in a foreign league for the first time in his career, but he can be optimistic of success, having watched former United star Chris Smalling make his mark at Roma.
Fikayo Tomori, formerly of Chelsea, has also been a revelation for AC Milan. The centre-back is an undisputed starter for the Rossoneri, who are vying for the Serie A title this season.
Tuanzebe’s current deal with United expires in June 2023, but there is an option for another 12 months.
A strong loan stint at Napoli could pave the way for his permanent move to the club.
Stats from Transfermarkt.com.
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