Reports claim Newcastle United are becoming increasingly confident of beating the competition to sign Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe on loan this summer.
The Magpies are desperately searching for players to boost their defensive ranks. They have yet to make a signing during the transfer window as Mile Ashley keeps a tight grip on the purse strings. And it may be that a loan is the best that Steve Bruce can hope for and his eyes are on Old Trafford.
Early in July it was suggested that Aston Villa were keen to take the 23-year-old on loan. It would have been his third temporary spell with the West Midlanders.
But earlier this week the Tynesiders appeared to enter the picture. The Telegraph reported that Newcastle were ‘pushing’ to sign the man born in DR Congo.
Tuanzebe’s previous connection to Villa seemed to make Dean Smith’s side favourites to land the stopper. But, according to Football Insider, the north-east outfit now hold all the aces.
They are looking for a season-long loan and the Red Devils appear ready to play ball. Bruce will look to pair the youngster with Jamaal Lascelles at the heart of his side’s defence if he arrives.
Having pulled off a surprise 12th-placed finish last term, much will be expected of Newcastle in 2021-2022. But a lack of new signings means fans’ expectations will have to be tempered.
Bruce may have to work with what he has in the main, with just the odd addition to the ranks.
Tuanzebe never given a United chance
Tuanzebe came up through the Old Trafford youth system and made his senior debut in January 2017. But he has been unable to nail down regular playing time and remains on the peripheries of the squad.
He has made only 19 Premier League appearances and 37 in all competitions. The centre-half played 35 times for Villa across two loan spells.
But St James’ Park may be his next destination. Former Arsenal striker Kevin Campbell feels a move away from the Theatre of Dreams is essential for his career.
“It’s time to go,” he told Football Insider. “He needs to go and play football. These young men at the mega clubs are just playing sparingly and they need to go out and play.
“It is no use playing in the Under-23s at that age. Tuanzebe is a great player and he deserves to be playing regular football.”