Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe will leave the club as a free agent this summer.
It’s a move that many have been expecting for a while now, but transfer guru Fabrizio Romano confirmed the news on Twitter earlier this morning, along with the departure of long-standing centre-back Phil Jones.
Tuanzebe has just completed a loan spell with Stoke City in the Championship. He featured only four times in the league after injury hampered his time at the bet365 Stadium, but he was impressive in his early appearances.
“Once we get to the end of the season we’ve not only got the lads who are here on loan but the lads who are out of contract currently in the summer as well. I don’t think anything is off the table.”
“There is every possibility that we could sort something out to try to keep the fabric of the team at the moment which I think at the moment is functioning very well together and then try to grow and add to it in the summer. That’s the aim.”
At the time, Stoke City were putting points on the board and climbing up the table. But their form quickly dwindled and Tuanzebe didn’t feature again after March, so whether or not the above statements remain true, remains to be seen.
Tuanzebe back to Stoke City?
Stoke City certainly need a permanent replacement for Harry Souttar who left for Leicester City in January. And Tuanzebe looked like a shrewd replacement at first, but obviously his injury record is a cause for concern.
As a free agent, he could be a useful squad player to have around for next season, but Neil might not be pinning any hopes on Tuanzebe being able to complete a full season in the Championship.
Either way it’s bound to be a busy summer at the bet365 Stadium, with Neil having plenty of work to do on his squad.