Napoli have reportedly made contact with Manchester United regarding a transfer for defender Axel Tuanzebe, who is currently on loan at Aston Villa.
According to Sky Sport Italia transfer pundit Gianluca Di Marzio, Napoli have asked around the possibility of taking Tuanzebe on loan with an option to buy, which would see the defender’s loan at Villa Park cut short.
Napoli are currently short on defenders, with Kostas Manolas departing Serie A for Olympiacos and Kalidou Koulibaly nursing an injury and set for the Africa Cup of Nations Cup with Senegal health permitting.
“Aurelio De Laurentiis’ club is interested in the player and has started contacts with the Red Devils to understand if there is the possibility of switching from one loan to another. Napoli are, in fact, waiting to see if they can buy the player on loan with right of redemption .” (Translated from Italian)
Tuanzebe’s versatility is said to be a driving force behind the move, as he can play at centre back, full-back or defensive midfield. Napoli are hoping to initially take the player a loan with option to buy at the end of the season.
Axel Tuanzebe would not be the first centre back to switch Old Trafford for the Serie A with Chris Smalling moving to AS Roma recently, where the Englishman has become a stalwart of former United manager Jose Mourinho’s back line.
— Gianluca Di Marzio (@DiMarzio) December 29, 2021
Meanwhile, 24-year-old Tuanzebe has been in the Manchester United youth academy since childhood, but has spent most of his professional career on-field for Aston Villa – spending three different loan spells with Aston Villa in 2018, 2019 and 2021.
His contract with Manchester United only runs to June 2023 but Tuanzebe may not be the only player to leave Old Trafford as Anthony Martial looks set to leave too.