Newcastle may have received some positive news regarding the pursuit of defender Axel Tuanzebe. Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed the 23-year-old is likely to head out on loan once Raphael Varane’s move from Real Madrid is completed.
Here is a tweet from BBC Sport’s Simon Stone on Solskjaer’s comments.
OGS: "With Raphael looking like everything sorted, can see Axel going out. Phil Jones is due to start training over the weekend. Big plus for him. Great to see him ready to train again. Hope he gets some game time soon, either 23s or closed doors."
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) July 28, 2021
The defender has started all three pre-season games this summer. However, once Varane’s move is completed, Tuanzebe will move behind the Frenchman, Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof, and Eric Bailly in the pecking order.
After missing the bulk of the 2019-20 season with three serious injuries, Tuanzebe was handed just 9 starts in all competitions last season. A move for first-team football will likely be welcomed by the player.
As of yesterday, Newcastle were reported to be in pole position to land the athletic center-back. The former England U21 international is also said to be ‘delighted’ at Newcastle’s interest. So hopefully, a deal can be struck quickly once Varane is confirmed at Old Trafford.
There is a potential obstacle looming on the horizon. Aston Villa have registered interest in the defender. He spent the 2018-19 season at Villa Park making 30 appearances, though missed a chunk of the campaign with a broken metatarsal.
While Villa are in need of cover at center-back, Taunzebe could find it difficult breaching the partnership of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa. The duo is one of the league’s best center-back pairings and both made 35 or more starts last season.
Newcastle could offer Tuanzebe a guarantee of first-team football. His athleticism and pace are sorely needed in our backline. With Bruce set to deploy three central defenders, there’ll be much more opportunities for game time at St. James’ Park.
Hopefully, Bruce’s connections at Old Trafford have given us an inside track. The desperation for signings is reaching a fever pitch and missing out on any more targets could prove very costly this season.