Man Utd transfer news: Axel Tuanzebe set to join Napoli on loan and cut short Aston Villa spell

Axel Tuanzebe joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan from Man Utd last summer but defender has struggled for games under Steven Gerrard and is now set to join Napoli until the end of the season; Serie A club are not expected to have an option to make Tuanzebe's move permanent

Axel Tuanzebe in action for Aston Villa against Chelsea in September 2021
Image: Axel Tuanzebe, currently on loan with Aston Villa, has made 37 appearances for Manchester United

Axel Tuanzebe, the Manchester United defender, is close to finalising a loan move to Napoli.

Talks between United and Napoli are ongoing, but Tuanzebe is expected to cut short his loan spell at Aston Villa and move to the Italian club.

The deal is likely to be a loan until the end of the season, with Napoli not having the option to make the move permanent.

Tuanzebe has started only six Premier League games for Villa this season and was left out of their squad for Sunday's game at Brentford.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Manchester United's win against Burnley in the Premier League on Thursday

Steven Gerrard, the Villa manager, said: "The Axel situation - there is a lot of noise in the media whether he will be moving forward. We will know that in the next couple of days."

Tuanzebe - who has 18 months remaining on his United contract - joined Villa in August and was expected to remain at the club until the end of the 2021/22 campaign.

However, since Gerrard replaced Dean Smith in November, Tuanzebe has played just eight minutes of football for Villa, with Ezri Konsa and Tyrone Mings being the manager's preferred centre-back partnership.

Also See:

Live MNF

But despite Tuanzebe's lack of game time, Gerrard said earlier this week that he wanted to keep the 24-year-old at Villa Park.

"It's very much in Ax's hands and Manchester United's hands," the former Liverpool captain said. "We want him here. We would be delighted to keep him.

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Speaking earlier this week, Aston Villa manager Steven Gerrard said he wanted to keep on-loan United defender Tuanzebe until at least the end of the season

"We don't just see it as a loan until the end of the season. It's something we want to explore further than that. We just hope we've got that opportunity.

"He's a player we like very much and we'd like him to stay until the end of the season at least. Axel is his own man and will want to make his own decision.

"He is obviously owned by Manchester United which we all need to respect. I hope he wants to be part of this.

"In terms of what he has given on a daily basis, his leadership and training levels have been really strong and he is pushing to play."

Follow the January transfer window with Sky Sports

Who will be on the move in January?

The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.

Keep up-to-date with all the latest transfer news and rumours in our dedicated Transfer Centre blog on Sky Sports' digital platforms. You can also catch up with the ins, outs and analysis on Sky Sports News.

Follow Manchester United with Sky Sports

Follow every Man Utd game in the Premier League this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free shortly after full-time.

Want the Man Utd latest? Bookmark our Man Utd news page, check out Man Utd's fixtures and Man Utd's latest results, watch Man Utd goals and video, keep track of the Premier League table and see which Man Utd games are coming up live on Sky Sports.

Get all this and more - including notifications sent straight to your phone - by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Man Utd as your favourite team.

Hear the best Premier League reaction and expert analysis with the Essential Football and Gary Neville podcasts, keep up-to-date with our dedicated Transfer Centre, follow the Sky Sports social accounts on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, and find out how to get Sky Sports.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Another Saturday, another chance to win £250,000 with Super 6. Play for free, entries by 3pm.

Around Sky