Man United defender to finish season in Italy after Villa loan cut short

Out-of-favour Man United defender to link up with Napoli for remainder of season

Tuanzebe destined for Napoli

Manchester United center-back Axel Tuanzebe is set to finish out his 2021-22 season not in England with Aston Villa but in Italy at Serie A outfit SSC Napoli according to the latest reports.

As mentioned by the ever-reliable Fabrizio Romano, the Man United academy graduate will complete his loan move today with United set to receive a €500k (£420k) loan fee in the process.

Citing Gianluca DiMarzio, Romano also stated that the deal for Tuanzebe – whose original loan spell with Premier League outfit Aston Villa is set to come to an end – will not include a purchase option despite the former England youth international appearing just fourteen times for United in the last five seasons since breaking into the first-team back in 2016.

Tuanzebe was one of just four center-backs on the books at Villa Park this season along with Tyrone Mings, Ezri Konsa, and Kortney House but only managed a shade over 500-minutes of Premier League action across nine appearances despite boss Steven Gerrard recently stating that Tuanzebe was valued by the club who could see the possibility of a future permanent deal.

Aston Villa players remain targeted

Steven Gerrard has done a credible job since taking over for Dean Smith at Aston Villa after the Villains have pushed their way to a mid-table position (12th) for the beginning of 2022.

But Gerrard could well be made to lose further first-team options at Villa Park irrespective of Axel Tuanzebe having his spell cut short and shipped to the south of Italy.

Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal is currently tracking two Villa assets in key striker Ollie Watkins and holding midfielder Douglas Luiz.

Out-of-favour Man United defender to link up with Napoli for remainder of seasonOut-of-favour Man United defender to link up with Napoli for remainder of season

BIRMINGHAM, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 05: Ollie Watkins of Aston Villa and Timothy Castagne of Leicester City in action during the Premier League match between Aston Villa and Leicester City at Villa Park on December 5, 2021 in Birmingham, England. (Photo by Visionhaus/Getty Images)

Watkins is part of a four-man striker shortlist at Arsenal as the Gunners plan for life without a cadre of their current forward crop next season, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang out of favor while Alexandre Lacazette and Eddie Nketiah currently set to leave on free deals in the summer.

The Gunners are also in the market for a midfielder especially given AFCON prizing away both Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny away from first-team duties for up to a month if both Ghana and Egypt (two of the tournament’s heavy favorites) make deep runs in Cameroon over the last four weeks.

Luiz is said to fit the bill and would also fill the void that is expected to come by the potential departure of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, while there is no guarantee that Elneny will remain at Arsenal beyond the current season.

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Aston Villa 4/1
Draw 7/2 8/1

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 20 39 50
2 Chelsea FC 20 29 42
3 Liverpool FC 19 34 41
4 Arsenal FC 19 9 35
5 West Ham United 19 9 31
6 Manchester United 18 4 31
7 Tottenham Hotspur 17 2 30
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 18 -1 25
9 Leicester City 18 -2 25
10 Brighton & Hove Albion 18 -1 24
11 Crystal Palace 19 0 23
12 Aston Villa 18 -4 22
13 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
14 Brentford FC 18 -4 20
15 Everton FC 17 -8 19
16 Leeds United 18 -18 16
17 Watford FC 17 -13 13
18 Burnley FC 16 -9 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 15
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Benrahma, Said West Ham United 5

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