Napoli hold surprise Man Utd transfer talks that affect Steven Gerrard’s Aston Villa

Rangnick 'couldn't possibly turn down' Man Utd role

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Napoli have opened talks with Manchester United over the signing of Aston Villa loanee Axel Tuanzebe. The Red Devils centre-back is currently trying to gain some senior Premier League experience at Villa Park but his game time has been limited this season.

Tuanzebe returned to Villa on loan in the summer following a successful spell with the Midlands club back in the 2018/19 season.

Former Villa boss Dean Smith was keen to reunite with his former player in a bid to provide some extra depth in central defence.

Yet even under Steven Gerrard, Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa have remained first-choice, meaning minutes have been limited.

Sky Italia’s Gianluca Di Marzio is now reporting that Napoli have opened talks with United over a potential deal.

It’s claimed the Italian club would be interested in an initial loan with a view to making the deal permanent.

Any transfer would involve United recalling Tuanzebe from his loan spell with Villa.

The 24-year-old has featured nine times in the Premier League this season but ideally wants to play more regularly.

Napoli are currently facing a number of high-profile injuries that have threatened to wreck their season.

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They were sitting pretty, unbeaten at the top of the pile but have since suffered three straight home defeats to Atalanta, Empoli and Spezia.

Tuanzebe’s chance of making the grade at United appear to be falling by the wayside.

He remains highly rated at Old Trafford but the capture of Raphael Varane this summer from Real Madrid saw him fall further down the pecking order.

Even still, he was already jostling the likes of Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof for a place in the side alongside Harry Maguire, prior to Varane’s arrival.

The young defender could also take inspiration from a number of English stars that have turned their back on the Premier League to further their career.

That includes his former United team-mate Chris Smalling, who is playing for Roma.

Tammy Abraham is also playing his football at the Stadio Olimpico while Ainsley Maitland-Niles could potentially join him.

Fikayo Tomori is also now widely regarded as one of the best centre-backs in Serie A as he continues to shine with AC Milan.

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