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Aston Villa face wait on Manchester United star Axel Tuanzebe loan bid

By Matt Maher | Aston Villa | Published:

Villa face a waiting game after making an approach to sign Manchester United starlet Axel Tuanzebe on loan.

Villa boss Steve Bruce

The 20-year-old, who can play in both defence and midfield, is among boss Steve Bruce's targets during the January transfer window.

Villa have approached United and asked to take Tuanzebe on loan for the rest of the season, though it appears they may have to wait until the end of the month for an answer.

Bruce is also eager to boost his attacking options and has made enquiries for Leicester duo Leonardo Ulloa and Daniel Amartey.

Speaking on Friday morning, Bruce believed he was close to getting one deal - understood to be for Tuanzebe - over the line.

“We’re close to one of two things,” said the Villa boss. “Until you get them over the line, then you can’t really reveal.

“We’re particularly close on one - let’s hope it can happen.

“I have seen lists and lists and lists (of players Villa have been linked with). We will do one or two.

“We are getting people back in the building. Let’s see what we can do.”

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Yet speaking later in the day, United boss Jose Mourinho suggested he would delay any decision on Tuanzebe until later in the months.

"It is something we are thinking about, a loan until the end of the season. Yes or no. We are a bit afraid of injuries, of needs and needing him," said Mourinho.

"We have Eric Bailly injured, we are not free of other injuries. So we are delaying the decision and we are going to delay it until the end of the transfer window.

"If we have to make a decision, we are going to make it at the end of the month. Probably at the end of the month, if we have no fresh injuries, if Eric Bailly is very close to being back or is already back, then probably it will be good for Axel to go on a loan and to be back for next season, because he is a player that we like very much."

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Major outgoings this month at Villa meanwhile appear unlikely with Bruce looking to maintain a challenge for automatic promotion.

Premier League Brighton have been linked with teenage star Keinan Davis, while midfielder Birkir Bjarnason is reportedly a target for clubs in Italy.

Championship rivals Millwall have also enquired about the availability of centre-back Tommy Elphick.

But Bruce said: “We have had one or two enquiries. One or two we don’t want to have.

“This time last year I left us short in the striking area in order to generate some funds.

“Where we are at the moment, I’m very pleased with the squad. However, there is nothing quite like a fresh face to give everyone a lift.

“If not, I am determined to keep hold of our big players because they have been important to us.

“The squad is bigger and healthier than it has been. We know we are capable. I am not prepared to let anyone out unless they desperately need to go.

“In terms of generating funds, I am not really interested in that.”

Skipper John Terry is a doubt for this evening’s game at Nottingham Forest after suffering an ankle injury in training, though striker Scott Hogan has been passed fit.

Matt Maher

By Matt Maher
Football MMPJ - @mjmarr_star

Sports journalist for the Express & Star

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