By Graham Hill
VILLA’S hopes of re-signing Axel Tuanzebe on loan next season could be boosted by Manchester United’s world record deal for Leicester’s Harry Maguire.
The Sun report that United have agreed an £80million deal for Maguire – more than the fee paid by Liverpool for Virgil van Dyke.
And a by-product of that that could be that United allow Tuanzebe to be loaned out again.
Villa will clearly be keeping an eye on any opportunity to bring the 21-year-old back to the club – despite signing four centre halves this summer in Tyrone Mings, Kortney Hause, Bjorn Engels and Ezri Konsa.
Maguire’s arrival comes at a time when United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been giving Tuanzebe a chance to impress in pre-season and he has been part of the Norwegian’s plans on the club’s tour of Australia.
But now Maguire’s likely signing changes the pecking order at Old Trafford – and Villa are likely to make another enquiry.
Tuanzebe has given Villa little hope of a return and clearly want to break into United’s first team.
But now the outlook may be different.
Tuanzebe’s words over the weekend looked to be hinting at a season of trying to impress under Solskjaer rather than being a fringe player at United.
He spent a season and a half on loan at Villa Park and was a key figure in the late season play-off push that took Dean Smith’s side into the Premier League.
But the signing of a new three year deal at Old Trafford ended any realistic hopes Villa had of making his loan deal permanent.
Now though, the door has been opened to a possible loan deal.
Tuanzebe’s words to MUTV on Saturday offered no suggestions of a Villa return – he said: “It’s always a great opportunity, we’ve had a good two weeks of training.
“Manchester has always been my home so to be among the lads again is great, I want to push on and show everyone I’m ready for it.
“Every pre-season is the same for every player to demonstrate they’re ready, I’ve worked hard in the off season to be in this position now.”