Axel Tuanzebe has emerged as the latest option under consideration by a Serie A side who would be relying on Manchester United and Aston Villa to come to agreements.
Tuanzebe is currently on loan at Aston Villa from Man Utd. It is his third such spell at Villa Park. During his most recent previous one, he helped the club win promotion from the Championship. Now, he is representing them in the Premier League.
Opportunities have been more frequent than those he was getting back in Manchester. Indeed, the defender now has more appearances for Villa across his entire career than United.
However, the situation has changed since Steven Gerrard replaced Dean Smith as Villa boss. Gerrard has only given Tuanzebe eight minutes of action between two games so far.
Even so, one reporter recently cast doubt on the idea of Villa cancelling Tuanzebe’s loan in January. But there has been a fresh twist that could cause a change of plans.
According to Corriere Dello Sport, and as confirmed by other sources, Tuanzebe has become a winter target for Napoli.
The Serie A side are hoping to strengthen their defence following the sale of Kostas Manolas. The Greek centre-back has returned to his native country with Olympiacos.
Napoli’s search for a reinforcement is taking them far and wide. They have many options in mind, but Tuanzebe is now among them.
In fact, Sky Sport Italia have claimed Napoli are ready to negotiate with both Man Utd and Villa about Tuanzebe’s future. They are aiming to interrupt his loan in the Midlands in order to take him until the end of the season.
They also would look into inserting an option to buy in any loan deal of their own that they negotiate. It is not yet clear what price that may be based upon.
Napoli have alternatives to Tuanzebe loan
As confirmed by Fabrizio Romano, though, a permanent transfer in January would be out of the question. Napoli are looking at low-cost solutions for now and think a loan for Tuanzebe could do the trick on a temporary basis.
Romano claims they would only take the 24-year-old if United would let them include an option to buy and Villa would also play their part in facilitating the move.
But Tuanzebe is far from the only player Napoli are considering. Indeed, Gianluca Di Marzio has added that Kim Min-Jae of Fenerbahce is also in contention to fill their void.
There have previously been links with other familiar faces such as Davinson Sanchez of Tottenham Hotspur.
The original report from Corriere Dello Sport listed Marash Kumbulla of Roma, Attila Szalai of Fenerbahce and Nicolo Casale of Verona as other profiles Napoli are keeping tabs on.
Only time will tell how serious they are about Tuanzebe in among all those options. Furthermore, the player’s stance over the potential move abroad remains to be seen.
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