Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer trimmed his squad ahead of Raphael Varane's arrival by shipping out Axel Tuanzebe on loan to Aston Villa on Sunday.

The announcement of Tuanzebe's switch for a season-long stay at Villa comes as United prepare to finalise the signing of France centre-back Varane from Real Madrid.

The Varane deal looked set to push Tuanzebe further towards the fringes of the Red Devils squad, and the 23-year-old will have more obvious first-team prospects at Villa Park, where he has spent two previous loan stints.

Tuanzebe's spells at Villa came in the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons, before he looked to establish himself in the United first-team squad under Solskjaer.

Although Tuanzebe has left Old Trafford for now, he has signed a one-year extension to his United contract that had been due to expire at the end of the new season.

It means he has committed until the end of June 2023, with United having an option for a further 12 months, and Solskjaer will hope a full season of action with Villa sees the versatile defender fulfil the potential he has shown.

Villa said in a statement: "Aston Villa is delighted to announce the loan signing of Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United. The defender returns to Villa Park on a season-long arrangement.

"Tuanzebe was a key member of the squad that helped Villa clinch promotion back to the Premier League in 2019."

The English defender started four Premier League games for United last season and played just 402 minutes in the top flight

United, in announcing the deal, said: "Having endured a difficult campaign last time out due to a couple of injuries, the highly rated centre-back will use this loan as a vital opportunity to assert himself and make an impression."

The signing of Varane is expected to go through in the coming days, with Solskjaer recently telling United's club website "paperwork" matters were holding up its completion.

Last season's Premier League runners-up begin the 2021-22 campaign with a home clash against Leeds United on Saturday, August 14.

Aaron Ramsey has not set the world on fire since joining Juventus from Arsenal two years ago.

It has been reported in Italy that the Serie A club are ready to listen to offers.

Ramsey reportedly earns £250,000 per week and Juve are said to be keen to ease that burden.

 

TOP STORY - SPURS SHOCK MOVE FOR RAMSEY

Tottenham are lining up a shock move for former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey, claims The Sun.

Juventus may be looking to offload the Wales international, who has made 46 league appearances in two seasons in Turin.

Tottenham's managing director of football Fabio Paratici is keen to bring Ramsey back to London to team up with Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg.

 

ROUND-UP

- Tottenham have ramped up their bid to sign Atalanta centre-back Cristian Romero who will cost around £40million (€46m), according to The Telegraph.

- Marca claims Inter, Sampdoria and Genoa are monitoring Real Madrid's 23-year-old striker Luka Jovic.

- Monaco's Montenegrin striker Stevan Jovetic has agreed to join Bundesliga club Hertha Berlin on a deal until 2024, reports Sky Sport.

- The Telegraph reports that Newcastle United  are keen on signing Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe, with a loan or permanent move discussed.

- Sky Sports claims West Ham are still interested in signing Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Alphonse Areola, who spent last season on loan at Fulham.

- Italian clubs Lazio and Napoli,  along with Spanish outfit Villarreal,  fancy Liverpool's Xherdan Shaqiri, reports Sky Sports.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has declared that anybody who sends racist abuse to Manchester United players cannot call themselves fans of the club.

Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were targeted after United's 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday, receiving vile messages on Twitter and Instagram.

What was striking was that many of those directing the abuse professed to be United supporters.

United manager Solskjaer on Friday echoed the club's call for social media giants to step up efforts to clean up their platforms.

But he also addressed those sending the messages.

"It's just incredible that we have these scenes still, or this abuse, still in 2021," said Solskjaer.

"We've been campaigning for a long time now in the Premier League and, to be honest, I think it's working, but there are still some people that haven't got it.

"They hide behind social media, are anonymous and it's unacceptable. It's disgusting.

"They're not Man United fans anyway when this happens. We're standing behind every single one of our players."

Solskjaer was asked about how Tuanzebe, who is just 23 years old, was handling the jolt of being sent overtly racist messages, and said the defender was "fine".

"Obviously it's not nice," Solskjaer added. "He's a strong boy, a strong character; he's got good support from his family.

"We're his family in the club, his team-mates are his family. It's something we don't expect to see now, but you're not really surprised when it happens once in a while because, as we said, there are some people you feel sorry for. That's what you have to do for these individuals."

Captain Harry Maguire said on Thursday that the club "will not tolerate" such behaviour, while United labelled the offenders as "anonymous mindless idiots", calling on social media operators and regulators to clamp down.

Solskjaer, whose team play Arsenal in the Premier League on Saturday, believes any avenues for sending abuse must be closed off if users are posting with a sense of impunity.

He said: "I think the social media platforms needs to be looked at. If you can create anonymous accounts, abuse people, of course it's not right.

"We'll work together with everyone to stop this nonsense."

Manchester United have called on social media giants to step up efforts to banish racist abuse from their platforms after Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were targeted. 

The United players received racist messages on Twitter and Instagram after United's 2-1 home defeat to Sheffield United on Wednesday. 

Captain Harry Maguire said the club "will not tolerate" such behaviour. 

In a statement, United said: "Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night's game. 

"We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also. 

"Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our All Red All Equal initiative. 

"Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour."

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) revealed research in October that showed racist messages to players are disturbingly commonplace. 

Of the sample of Premier League players it looked at in its study, the PFA said 43 per cent experienced online "targeted and explicitly racist abuse". 

Speaking at the time about the findings of that research, Manchester City and England forward Raheem Sterling said social media operators must "show real leadership and take proper action in tackling online abuse". 

Sterling added: "The technology is there to make a difference, but I’m increasingly questioning if there is the will."

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