Stoke City manager Alex Neil has reiterated his desire and intention to keep Manchester United loanee Axel Tuanzebe beyond the end of this season.
Tuanzebe made the temporary switch from United to Stoke City on deadline day in January.
The 25-year-old was lacking in match fitness and sharpness after failing to start a game since November 2021. Tuanzebe had also not featured for the Red Devils since January last year after suffering a back injury.
The centre-back was unable to break into Erik ten Hag’s thinking, hence he was sent out on loan.
Since making the move, Tuanzebe has steadily built up his physicality and is now reaping the rewards for his hard work.
He has now made four starts and an appearance from the bench.
Out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season, Tuanzebe’s future is up in the air. United however retain the option to trigger the one-year extension clause on his current deal.
Neil however has remarked that there could be a future for some of his loan signings, including Tuanzebe at Stoke.
“I think everything is possible. 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.”
“You’ll have a section of people who will say we don’t stand a chance of getting him, him or him. That’s rubbish. You have another section saying we’ll definitely sign him, him and him. That’s also rubbish.”
“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.”
As per the Stoke boss, there are several things that must work in the club’s favour so as to emerge successful in their efforts to convince Tuanzebe to stay.
Negotiations with United must go well, the player must be willing to join and there is the issue of fees.
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