By Wayne Veysey

5th Jul, 2021 | 7:00am

Sources: Aston Villa given encouragement over signing Tuanzebe after Man United talks

Aston Villa have been given a huge boost in their bid to sign defender Axel Tuanzebe from Man United this summer, Football Insider understands.

The Midlands giants are front of the queue to make a move for the versatile 23-year-old after registering their interest in a deal.

A Villa source has told Football Insider that the club have been given encouragement that United are planning to let Tuanzebe go in the current window.

The 20-times champions have been sounded out by Villa over a potential deal and they will listen to offers if they can secure a replacement.

United have been strongly linked with Real Madrid’s Raphael Varane as they look to strengthen their defence with an A-list star.

That would see Tuanzebe slip further down a pecking order headed by established starters Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof, and also including Eric Bailly.

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Dean Smith wants an athletic centre-back with Premier League experience to provide cover and competition for first-choice duo Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa.

Tuanzebe has been targeted as he fits the profile of the recruitment team and has the potential to develop.

He is also well known to Villa after two previous loan spells at the club.

The second of those came in their successful promotion-winning season in 2018-19 when the United man played a key role in their return to the top-flight.

Villa’s plan is for Tuanzebe man to challenge first-choice pair Tyrone Mings and Ezri Konsa, as well as back-up Kourtney Hause.

He was on the fringes of Ole-Gunnar Solskjaer’s team last season, making 19 appearances across all competitions but only four Premier League starts.

Three of those came in May at the end of the campaign when Maguire was out injured.

In other news, a huge update on Aston Villa move for James Ward-Prowse can be revealed.