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January Transfer Update: Axel Tuanzebe appears to be joining Aston Villa on loan.

Steve Bruce and Aston Villa are reportedly going to lose out on one of their targets, but bring in the young Tuanzebe this week.

The 20-year-old Manchester United player is said to be making his move to Villa Park in the coming days.
Photo by Chris Brunskill Ltd/Getty Images

Aston Villa’s chairman was at it again on Twitter over the weekend. Whilst he has previously posted much harder emoji-filed ciphers, this was one was quite clear – Villa were on the verge of completing a signing on the 24th.

Rumours about players arriving at Villa Park in this window have been plentiful. However, in the past week the focus has narrowed in terms of the targets for manager Steve Bruce.

Couple that fact with Dr. Tony’s tweet and fan reports such as this, it seems a good bet as to who will be joining Aston Villa in the coming days:

Our Phil Vogel was seemingly one of the first to report this move on the 12th of January. Since then, numerous outlets have linked Manchester United’s Axel – just a strong name that – Tuanzebe with a loan to the B6.

As of this morning, we were seeing that 20-year-old will officially be announced on Wednesday. If – and more likely when – Tuanzebe joins Villa, we will delve deeper into him as a player.

In the meantime it is worth noting what Luke Shaw told Manchester United TV about the English Under-20:

I think the talent he’s got is frightening. He’s strong, he’s quick, he’s energetic, he reads the game well, he’s a good passer of the ball, and he’s got everything.”

For those who are unfamiliar with Axel Tuanzebe, here’s a little introductory highlight video:

With both Bruce and Dr. Tony indicating that Villa are likely only going to add a player or two, the seemingly imminent arrival of Tuanzebe on loan could well be it for this month’s transfer window.

Though this past week hasn’t been without additional speculation regarding arrivals and departures at Villa Park:

Leonardo Ulloa – Leicester City

We were one of many to report that the out-of-favour Argentinean forward was a player Steve Bruce wanted to bring in on loan. That said, Leonardo Ulloa to Aston Villa looked a good shout.

But as supporters of any club know, if certain world leaders followed transfer window rumours, the amount of #FAKENEWS would likely give he - or she [cough] - an ayeurism.

Unsurprisingly the Sunday Mirror, Daily Express and HITC have now all published the story that Leicester City’s Ulloa has agreed to join Crystal Palace on loan. As Saikat Mandal of HITC noted:

“…Hodgson has struck a deal with the Foxes to sign the striker on loan after agreeing to pay his £60,000-a-week wages, with a view to make the move permanent.”

With it being previously mentioned that Claude Puel and Leicester wanted Villa to agree to a long-term move, you would now expect to see Leanardo Ulloa moving to Selhurst Park.

Even if the claret and blue miss out on this striker, thanks to Scott Hogan’s recent form in front of goal, things have been “_____________________.”

Ross McCormack – Melbourne City (Aston Villa)

Now here is where yours truly will churn the rumour mill. The possibly forgotten Scottish centre-forward is still technically a member of the claret and blue.

First off, McCormack has not done much of anything to endear himself to Steve Bruce or Aston Villa supporters.

Secondly, he has already told the Melbourne and Victoria Herald Sun the following:

We’ve been in constant dialogue, I speak to the manager (Warren Joyce) a lot and (the officials) and my agent. Everyone knows that I’d like to stay.”

Based on those two points alone, it is likely Ross McCormack stays at Melbourne City for the remainder of the A-League season.

Yet in that same interview, McCormack left an opening for his return to England if his loan deal can’t be extended past the end of January.

The simple reason that it might be worth considering having him return to Villa Park is this:

Now the Australian League is of a different class and - as our staff has pointed out - the dressing room environment seems to be rather harmonious:

In conclusion here, if Ross McCormack would bring back any sort of toxic presence, he and his current goalscoring form can stay in the Land Down Under.

Ritchie De Laet – Aston Villa

It would seem that Villa are shopping De Laet out on loan. Royal Antwerp, the Belgian’s former club, are in pole position.

Birkir Bjarnason – Aston Villa

That is what ‘Thor’ told Iceland’s MBL in an interview this morning. Fortunately, thanks to the Icelandic translator at the Daily Express, we know he also said this:

But for me, Aston Villa is the best choice. This is a huge club in England, and it is especially great to be here when the team is doing so well, as it has done for the last few weeks. Hopefully we can reach the Premier League. That would be outstanding.”

After his last two outings against Forest and Barnsley, this looks just about right:

Sure there were a few others kicked about recently (e.g. Robin Van Persie!). As yet none looked to really warrant much attention. We will obviously stay on top of any developments in the remaining eight days of this window.

If you have read this far - and not already done so - take a look at James Rushton’s brilliant take on Jack Grealish’s recent quality.