Newcastle United were quoted a £5m loan fee for Manchester United’s Axel Tuanzebe, according to The Chronicle.
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The 23-year-old was strongly linked with a move to St James’ Park and was actually believed to favour that ahead of re-joining Aston Villa, who he eventually signed for. In fact, Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News even suggested Newcastle were the front-runners for his signature but – perhaps unsurprisingly – dropped the ball.
However, his parent club were reportedly demanding a massive loan fee of around £5m which proved too much for the powers that be on Tyneside.
Would Tuanzebe have been a good signing for Newcastle?
Given manager Steve Bruce was thought to want to strengthen his options in central defence, it seems safe to assume so.
What Newcastle lack at the back is genuine pace, something Tuanzebe has shown he has in abundance. Not only that but he also averaged more tackles per game last season (1.4, via WhoScored) than any of Fabian Schar, Jamaal Lascelles or Federico Fernandez and produced a higher pass success rate (88.6%).
Able to operate at right-back too, he certainly looks like the profile of player who could well have lifted the mood after a difficult summer for the club.
What was said about Tuanzebe and Newcastle?
Speaking to Football Insider in July, pundit Kevin Phillips urged the club to move for the Manchester United academy graduate.
“But the experience he does have, he has from Manchester United, arguably the biggest club in the world,” he said.
“There’s the Steve Bruce connection as well, I think that could turn out to be a really decent signing.
“He needs to go somewhere and play regularly, that’s when you will see the best of him.
“If he goes to Newcastle you will see a player who can turn out to be a hero, an unsung hero.
“Someone who you don’t may millions for but does a really good job.”