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Tuanzebe Still in Suffolk as Town Talks Continue
Thursday, 7th Sep 2023 18:13

TWTD understands former Manchester United central defender Axel Tuanzebe remains in discussions regarding a move to the Blues, despite reports that he is in talks with La Liga side Real Betis.

Tuanzebe joined up with Town at the end of last week as the transfer deadline approached but as a free agent can sign outside the window.

The Blues have continued discussions with the 25-year-old this week, while Tuanzebe has trained with the squad and we understand is still in Suffolk.

However, according to the Daily Mail, the player has also been holding talks with Betis. But Portman Road would still appear to be his most likely destination.

Manager Kieran McKenna knows Tuanzebe, who is currently working his way towards full fitness after a back injury, from their time at Old Trafford and spoke about the situation at the weekend.

“Axel’s a player I know very well, a player of real high pedigree. He’s someone that we’re speaking to at the moment,” he said.

“He is not fully returned from his injury yet, so we’re continuing to have discussions with him as that process goes on.

“And there’s not too much more I can add at the moment. We’ve got a space in our squad available and Axel’s a free agent and a tremendous player, who has played at higher levels and would be attractive to any club, certainly at this level, so we’re speaking with him and we’ll continue to speak with him and see if it’s beneficial for us and the right thing for the player to join us at some stage.”

Former England U19, U20 and U21 international Tuanzebe, who was linked with the Blues throughout the transfer window, was previously training with Premier League new boys Luton Town but was unable to agree terms on a deal, despite reportedly impressing.

Congo DR-born Tuanzebe moved to the UK aged four and came through the ranks at the Red Devils’ academy.

The 6ft 1in tall defender made his United debut in the FA Cup in January 2017 and went on to make 21 starts and 15 sub appearances for United without scoring.

While at United, he had three spells on loan at Aston Villa and further stints at Napoli, where he played only two games, and in the second half of last season Stoke City, making four starts and one sub appearance, having been hampered by injury.

In addition to the trial spell with Luton and links with the Blues, Tuanzebe was also mentioned in connection with moves to another of the newly-promoted Premier League clubs, Sheffield United, and Saudi Arabia during the summer.


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Suffolkboy added 18:39 - Sep 7
It relies on KM and his team being convinced he can be fit ,as it seems clear talent is not in question .
Let’s hope ITFC isn’t being utilised as a vehicle simply to achieve full fitness ahead of negotiating a move elsewhere ; look like a bit of a game of poker right now !

Ipswichbusiness added 18:46 - Sep 7
Yes, but only if we are sure that he IS fully fit. Please no repetition of Camara.

MrJase_79 added 18:47 - Sep 7
I still don't understand how we can afford to pay his wages.

runningout added 19:12 - Sep 7
Mickey Mouse could realise Axel won’t be staying! Nice words but hey ho

dirtydingusmagee added 19:19 - Sep 7
seems he could be a good player ,but certainly ITFC are being careful to assess his fitness problems..,We have had our fair share of ''suspect'' players over recent years .The new regime are less likely to take as many risks imo .

FreddySteady added 19:23 - Sep 7
I too don’t understand how we could afford him, reach a deal with him if Luton, a premier league team, can’t.

Saxonblue74 added 19:55 - Sep 7
We don't have to understand the ins and outs of the finances. The only concern is his injury record as his pedigree is not in doubt. Personally I.think this could be an excellent signing. Let's face it, we don't get much wrong these days!

bringmeaKuqi added 20:09 - Sep 7
I also was a bit surprised to see we might be able to afford him, and was worried that bringing in someone on significantly more wages might unbalance the club. But, I think you're right saxonblue, we have to trust that the club know better than us and will have considered this. They've not made a mistake yet.

Unlike previous expensive flops – Bullard etc – Axel is a good age, desperate for fitness and a run of games, and if he does well will command a significant transfer fee. That's our MO now.

Carberry added 20:26 - Sep 7
If he's that good why aren't other clubs in for him? He's been around the block on loan and nobody is taking him on. Luton are desperate for reinforcements and maybe wanted to take a chance on him, however their wage structure is probably smaller than ours.
Hope this isn't McK's first big mistake.

Len_Brennan added 20:27 - Sep 7
Tuanzebe is out of contract, because Man Utd let him go. He was apparently on a longterm deal of £50k a week there, but that was agreed at a time when he had played Premier League & European football, & had gotten rave reviews for his performances on loan at Aston Villa, all as a teenager. There's been a lot of water under the bridge since then though & not too much football played.
The summer transfer season has come & gone and nobody picked him up; clearly his own valuation of himself has not been met and/or he has not convinced prospective employers of his fitness. Whatever the reason, the level of wages he can legitimately expect has dropped significantly & he has to accept that. He needs to play his way back into proving his worth, possible at a Championship club!
Maybe a 1 year deal, with an option can be agreed, if he passes a fitness test; but the club can't let itself get panicked into agreeing a deal that stops us making other signings (another free agent or during the January window) later on, if Axel ends up spending most of his days with us on the treatment table.

Karlosfandangal added 20:41 - Sep 7

The list of Ipswich Town salary’s on the internet clams that Broadhead is on £3k a week and Hurst is on 17k a week Burns on 5k Chaplin on 7.5k.
If that’s true I don’t think Alex wage will be a problem to the team.

That’s if you believe the internet

tetchris added 20:45 - Sep 7
very injury prone and a risk for any club. Looks like he has the making of a good player but spends more time in the treatment room than on the pitch. Was on £50k a week at Man Utd and I don’t think Luton would pay anywhere near that and nor would town. Apparently he turned down a lucrative offer in Saudi Arabia and interest from other European clubs and looks like he wants to stay in the UK? Paid for a three week intensive rehab programme at St George’s and came through that and is supposedly fit? A player who hasn’t played very much due to injury isn’t going to get £50k a week. Carvalho is at Betis and allegedly on just over £40k p/w and a more experienced player.

Help added 20:58 - Sep 7
There are 3 parties involved here, ITFC, Axel and his agent. I feel this may be happening again. "but was unable to agree terms on a deal."

Fatboy added 21:02 - Sep 7
He's currently earning £0k p/w.

churchmans added 23:43 - Sep 7
Not much Info to go on!

PhuketPete added 02:25 - Sep 8
Bring him on until end of season like Massimo on a Championship salary with a break clause if he can’t stay fit and an option to sign if he stays fit and plays well. That will cost us more in salary terms but worth remembering that if we had to buy a quality CD of EPL standard it could cost us (?) £10m. Getting a player like that on a free means we save money even if we end up paying him £50k a week. And could sell him if necessary.

SussexTractor added 07:35 - Sep 8
Please don’t break the bank to sign him for a player who is currently injured. The fact that he can’t agree terms with Premiership teams might indicate a problem. That aside the fact he is ex Man United means KM knows him. Wide variances in players salaries creates problems for the club later (unless we hit the Premier league this time around). .

Linkboy13 added 08:03 - Sep 8
Me thinks we are wasting our time with this one and we should be looking elsewhere.

ArnieM added 08:07 - Sep 8
Big risk

OliveR16 added 08:24 - Sep 8
Obviously we know nothing except that this is taking a long time and there is little competition for him. For those reasons alone though I don't feel very interested atm.

dirtydingusmagee added 08:40 - Sep 8
Everything pointed out on here will have already been considered by the club and those in talks, ITFC is in better hands than past decade.

TractorClarke added 09:28 - Sep 8
Everyone seems to be an expert on what players are earning per week, lets be honest no one on here knows anything about what wages they are on, the only people that know that are the backroom staff and the players themselves.

As for him not going to Luton, why are we assuming that Axel ever wanted to play for them? Yes they are in the prem, and if a prem team enquires why wouldnt you see what they have got to say, but when it comes down to it Luton may well have offered him a lot of money, doesnt mean after looking at the club, that he wants to play for them. No disrespect to Luton but i cant see anything other than them propping up the league this year, they will come down and who knows might go down again. They are in the prem on merit as you fdont get there without getting the points and results but when you see how much work they need to do to the stadium, and also playing squad, then i am not suprised not many players are scrambling to join them. This does sound harsh i appreciate that but if you have played for the team Axel has, knowing that if you can get fit you will have options then it isnt hard to see why he himself may not have wanted to go to Luton. Just a thought, but it is not always to do with money, if that was the case he would have gone to Saudi, but at least it seems on face value he wants to stay in the UK to play a very good standard of football and that refreshing to see if true to be honest.

If anyone can get someone on board it would be some one like Mckenna for one, and for two they have previously worked together so they know what each other are about, and if Mckenna thinks this time is worth spending to see if we can get him in based on his fitness and stuff, then i trust that and hope for the best. If it happens and it fails thats also fine, these things happen, but ultimately the people with the most knowledge are the ones that will get these things done, not all of us on here that make assumptions based on nothing more that hear say.

Sorry i dont want this to be a dig, not my intention really, i just get frustrated with assumption and opinions that display themselves as fact when they are anything but fact

BlueNomad added 10:35 - Sep 8
None of us really know anything on here. Let's wait and see what the professional experts come up with.

RaymondovicBlue added 12:19 - Sep 8
Just a point that I do not think has been reflected in the comments above ...

If we need a CB - we have to get an out of contract one as window is closed til Jan

If he needs a club he can go anywhere as a free agent. so we CANNOT look elsewhere (other than other OOC players)

I do not know why we have not signed a CB in the window, but it is possible that this guy is the one that the club really want? I GUESS we are offering a short term deal with extension options ... I GUESS his agent wants a 15 year deal on £1 mill a week!!!

Sounds to me like he will be signed at least til end of Jan - short deal like mass to prove fitness ... and if it goes as well as his signing did we will be laughing all the way

RaymondovicBlue added 12:37 - Sep 8
Whilst he is "not fully fit" he is also "training with the squad" ... so maybe we will know the result of this one sooner rather than later

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