Manchester United academy graduate Axel Tuanzebe is set to join Napoli on loan.
Tuanzebe’s loan spell at Aston Villa has ended early, and he is now set to move to Serie A.
Journalist Fabrizio Romano has shared the numbers behind the impending loan exit, and stated that there is no option included in the deal to take Tuanzebe to Italy permanently.
That €600,000 upfront works out at just over £500,000 initially, which means that if all the clauses are met, United could be on to earn more than £1 million from the deal.
Perhaps the most important element of the agreement is that there is no option to buy.
That indicates that Tuanzebe himself is not pushing for a permanent exit from the club where he came through the ranks despite a lack of first-term opportunities.
It also seems sensible from United’s point of view. Ralf Rangnick is interim manager and it would not be wise for him to making decisions over the long-term futures of players when he may well not be their boss beyond May.
That said, a permanent exit for Tuanzebe looks very viable if Napoli want him come the summer.
He is no longer a youngster – recently turning 24 – and if he is not being kept around at a time when Rangnick’s central defensive options look thin, he is unlikely to force his way into United’s team in the longer term.
It may be time to move on come the summer, but that will require subsequent negotiation and if he impresses in Italy, there may well be more than one potential summer suitor.
The decision to recall Tuanzebe was likely influenced by Dean Smith’s departure from Villa Park, and his replacement by Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard did not take a shine to Tuanzebe and did not give him a start before losing him early.
Now, he has the opportunity to go and play for a historic club in Italy, and one which will face Barcelona in the Europa League when it resumes next month.
Tuanzebe will hope to suitably impress between now and then to get a start in the Nou Camp as he embarks on another loan spell.
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