By Phil Jennings
VILLA look to have abandoned any hope of getting Axel Tuanzebe back on board for next season.
The People reported at the weekend that Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants the centre half as part of his first team squad next season as he looks to rebuild at Old Trafford following a disappointing season.
And the player’s latest message on his Instagram account suggests he has been saying his goodbyes at Villa Park.
But if Tuanzebe, 21, is not coming back to Villa, he could hardly have signed off in a better way.
He was a key part of the squad that staged an incredible finish to the Championship season – one that ended with Villa getting promoted at Wembley.
Tuanzebe shared several photos of him in action and posted: “Thank you for a memorable season”.
Despite being injured for an important part of the season, Tuanzebe played 30 times across all competitions and formed a formidable partnership at the back with Tyrone Mings.
Smith is now looking at other defensive options and Kortney Hause is on his way from Wolves in a £3million deal following his loan spell at Villa Park.
Villa are also exploring a possible move for Chelsea’s £10million rated centre half Fikayo Tomori who was on loan at Championship Play-off finalists Derby last season where he was the Rams’ player of the year.