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Man United: Axel Tuanzebe joins Napoli on loan

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The United defender ends his current loan deal at Aston Villa to join the Serie A side.

The arrival of Steven Gerrard at Aston Villa limited Axel Tuanzebe’s chances of getting enough game time. The centre-back, who arrived at Villa Park on a loan deal in the summer, now joins a new club.

On Saturday, Napoli confirmed they signed Tuanzebe on a loan deal until the end of the current campaign. The contract reportedly does not include an option to buy the 24-year-old permanently.

According to 90min, the Serie A heavyweights have agreed to pay an initial £500,000 for the loan. There are also additional bonus payments that can take add up to £1m until the end of the season.

Tuanzebe joined Manchester United’s academy ranks when he was eight years old. He became the captain of the Red Devils’ U18 team before making his senior debut under Jose Mourinho in 2017.

The English defender spent a successful loan spell at Aston Villa in 2018-19. However, he suffered several injuries after earning a Premier League promotion with Villa. The young centre-back hoped to get more top-flight minutes this season, but he fell out of favour under Gerrard.

In Napoli, Tuanzebe will have the chance to prove his qualities in a different league. He might get a chance to pair up with Kalidou Koulibaly at the heart of Partenopei’s backline. Napoli are competing with AC Milan and Inter in a close Serie A title race. They will also face Barcelona in the play-off for the knock-out stage of the Europa League.