Napoli have reached a verbal agreement with Manchester United to sign Axel Tuanzebe on loan until the end of the season.
The Englishman spent the first half of the campaign on loan at Aston Villa. After some encouraging performances, including his solid defending against Chelsea in the Carabao Cup in September under Dean Smith, Tuanzebe dropped down the pecking order following the managerial change at Villa park.
The 24-year-old is yet to start a game under Steven Gerrard, with the new man in charge preferring the centre-back pairing of Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.
Gerrard has insisted he wants to keep Tuanzebe at Villa, but it seems both the player and his parent club have decided to not wait any longer for regular game time.
According to Fabrizio Romano, Napoli have verbally agreed to loan Tuanzebe until June from the Premier League giants.
The Serie A outfit, who will pay a €500k fee for a simple loan without any buy option, are in a need of a new centre-back, as Kalidou Koulibaly will be with the Senegal squad for the Africa Cup of Nations.
Koulibaly’s absence will give Tuanzebe a good opportunity to cement his place under Luciano Spalletti.
The United academy defender’s move to Italy will be the first first transfer during Ralf Rangnick’s reign. Although it’s unclear how much say the interim boss had in this deal, considering he’s yet to manage Tuanzebe.