Aston Villa are hoping to sign former loanee Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United, according to reports.
The centre-back had two loan spells at Villa Park between January 2018 and May 2019.
He made 30 appearances for the West Midlands outfit during their promotion campaign two seasons ago.
It now looks like Villa boss Dean Smith is hoping for a reunion with Tuanzebe.
According to Football Insider, they’re aiming to sign the 23-year-old in the summer transfer window.
Club chiefs are confident that a £7million bid would tempt United into selling, especially if Tuanzebe pushes for a move.
They’ve put the defender at the top of their wish list as he fits their ‘profile’.
The report states that Villa want a new centre-back with Premier League experience who also has the potential to improve.
Tuanzebe is yet to reach his best form due to his lack of opportunities at Old Trafford. He could thrive if given regular game time under Smith.
It’s thought that he would compete with current centre-backs Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa for a place in the starting eleven.
Tuanzebe may be encouraged to move by Villa’s defensive situation. They’ve placed their trust in Konsa this season and he’s repaid their faith with some brilliant performances, putting him in the mix for an England call-up.
Tuanzebe would also get to play alongside keeper Emi Martinez. The Argentinian has been brilliant since joining from Arsenal and is viewed as one of the top shot-stoppers in the league.
Villa coach John Terry could help the player to become a more complete centre-half too.
A transfer is made more likely by Tuanzebe’s contract situation. His deal expires in June 2022 and United have the option to extend that by a further year.
But with Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly already available to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Tuanzebe has no real route to the first team.
As a result, he is yet to start in the Premier League this term. His season has been defined by late substitute appearances once the result is pretty much determined.
If Villa launch a bid for the player, it’s hard to see why he would reject them in favour of staying at United.