The Birmingham Mail’s Ashley Preece has delivered a major update on Aston Villa’s transfer pursuit of Man Utd defender Axel Tuanzebe.
Reports in recent weeks have claimed that the centre-back could be set for a reunion with Dean Smith, having of course played under the Villa boss during their time in the Championship.
And now, Preece has said: “As for Axel. Villa will keep tabs on that. Engels could look to move and that opens up a slot at RCB. Could be one to watch.”
The £7.2m-rated centre-back has earned rave reviews for his displays even during his limited game-time this season, earning special praise from United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after helping to stop PSG and Kylian Mbappe in the Champions League earlier in the year.
He said: “Axel’s a tremendous defender, a great leader. He’s come through the academy and we’ve known for years that he’s going to be a top player for us and he’s got the character and the attitude that a Man United player should have. Sometimes you’ll get in a foot race with Mbappe and you have to run with him and we know Axel’s qualities, he’s a top defender.”
Former Villa man Lee Hendrie has previously delivered his verdict on a potential move for Tuanzebe, suggesting that the ball is really in the defender’s court about whether he would want to battle for his place at Villa Park.
He said: “It’s whether Axel wants to come in and actually fight for a place. The two at the moment (Mings and Konsa), basically they’re picked week in, week out if you look at it. I just think he isn’t going to overtake Mings and Konsa at this current time.”
Given the £50k-a-week earning ace has already played under Smith, he should be able to hit the ground running, especially with his experience of Premier League football at United too.
If there is a deal to be done, then Villa should be all over it in the summer.