Man Utd centre-back Axel Tuanzebe will not be joining Napoli on a permanent deal this summer, though his future may not lay in Manchester either, per reports.
The 24-year-old made his senior Manchester United debut way back in 2015, though has racked up just 19 league appearances since that time. The vast bulk of the subsequent seven years have been spent out on loan. Three spells at Aston Villa materialised before joining Napoli in January.
Tuanzebe was brought to Naples to help cover the absence of Kalidou Koulibaly. The Senegalese was required at AFCON and helped his country be crowned kings of Africa.
And since making a cameo appearance against Sampdoria in early January, Tuanzebe has frustratingly fallen down the pecking order.
He has not featured in Serie A on a single occasion since his 10-minute debut. He has one full appearance to his name in the Coppa Italia. Though two outings in four months is clearly not what he envisioned.
As such, Italian outlet Calciomercato report a call has been made on Tuanzebe’s future.
The publication state the decision ‘has already been made’ not to sign him permanently. As such, the defender will now return to Manchester at season’s end.
Whether he will remain at Old Trafford beyond the summer is the obvious next question. If prior reporting is anything to go by, the answer will be no.
Tuanzebe among three centre-backs axed?
Erik ten Hag will take the reins this summer with Ralf Rangnick moving upstairs – despite reports emerging he’s in line for the Austria job. The Dutchman faces an uphill struggle to get the Red Devils back on track.
Multiple areas of the squad he’ll inherit require surgery, with several reports hinting centre-back will be addressed.
The Manchester Evening News recently claimed Eric Bailly and Phil Jones will be axed this summer. They also hinted Tuanzebe could make way if he returned from Napoli – something that will now happen.
The Daily Mirror concurred with the MEN’s reporting when noting Bailly and Jones were on a list of potentially 12 stars who could make way.
Tuanzebe’s current deal with his parent club expires in 2023, though United’s official website confirmed there…