Stoke City and Aston Villa are set to go head-to-head in the race for Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe according to The Daily Mail.

The defender performed impressively whilst on loan at Aston Villa last season as he helped guide them to promotion to the Premier League.

The Potters are believed to have enquired about taking the centre back on loan for the current campaign but it is understood that he is set to be a part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s plans for this season.

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Stoke are desperate to increase their options at centre back with Ryan Shawcross having suffered an horrendous looking injury in pre-season which resulted in him breaking his ankle which could keep him sidelined for the majority of the season.

Tuanzebe is also believed to be wanting to fight for a first team spot with the Red Devils this campaign which could see Stoke’s efforts rebuffed. Nottingham Forest have also registered an interest in the young defender but look unlikely to be able to entice him.

Solskjaer is willing to allow one of his defenders to leave after capturing the world record transfer of Harry Maguire but it is Marcus Rojo who currently appears most likely to depart either to another English club or even abroad.

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Tuanzebe wants to stay at United until January at least to see if he can work his way into Solskjaer’s first team. Man United want him to continue improving and see if he can step up to the challenge of playing in the Premier League with them.

Should a loan move still be on the cards then it appears more likely that Villa Park would be his destination as they could at least offer him Premier League football.

If Stoke are to lose out in the race they are also looking at a potential move for Newcastle’s Ciaran Clark who could prove to be a viable option.

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