• Transfer news

Napoli reach ‘verbal agreement’ to sign DR Congo-born star from Manchester United 

Axel Tuanzebe
Getty Images

The Serie A giants have moved a step closer to making their first signing of the January transfer window.

DR Congo-born star Axel Tuanzebe appears set to join Napoli on loan until the end of the season.

The Manchester United defender has struggled for game time in his third loan spell at Aston Villa, featuring in only nine of the club’s 18 games in the Premier League this season.

In fact, Tuanzebe has played just eight minutes of football since Steven Gerrard replaced Dean Smith as the club’s manager on November 11.

This situation had stirred rumors over a potential recall to Old Trafford for Tuanzebe. However, Napoli could become an alternative destination. The Italian side is keen on the 24-year-old, having recently offered United around €400,000 to sign him on loan in January.

According to Gianluca Di Marizio, Napoli and United have now struck a ‘verbal agreement’ worth €500,000.

The Red Devils previously wanted €1 million as part of the loan fee for Tuanzebe. However, as the player himself was keen on the move to Italy, Napoli were evidently able to talk them down.

Tuanzebe may help fill the void left by Kalidou Koulibaly in defense when the Napoli center-back represents Senegal in the Africa Cup of Nations this month.