Aston Villa set to sign Newcastle United target while ex-Toon defender trials at Sunderland's League One rivals

Another day has passed without a signing for Newcastle United in the summer transfer window.

By Joe Buck
Wednesday, 4th August 2021, 5:37 pm

Here, we round-up the latest Magpies-related stories that have emerged today:

Premier League club ready to swoop for Newcastle target

Aston Villa have reportedly agreed a deal to sign Axel Tuanzebe from Manchester United. It is believed that the centre-back will sign a new deal at Old Trafford before joining Villa on a season-long loan deal.

Manchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe is reportedly set to join Aston Villa instead of Newcastle United. (Photo by Aleksandra Szmigiel - Pool/Getty Images)

Tuanzebe had a successful loan spell with Villa in 2019 where he helped guide the team to promotion from the Championship.

Newcastle had been linked with Tuanzebe but it looks like Steve Bruce’s attempts to work with the defender again have failed.

Burnley and Toon in for midfielder injured by manager

One of the most fascinating stories of pre-season so far was the story of Wayne Rooney injuring one of his players during a training session.

That player was Jason Knight and the midfielder has now been linked with a move to St James’s Park.

Reports suggest that Newcastle and Burnley have held an interest in Knight since last summer but as deadline day creeps into view, they have both reignited their interest in the Republic of Ireland international.

Former Magpies defender on trial at League One club

For those not taking note of pre-season friendlies on the south coast, you may have missed a familiar face lining up for Portsmouth against Bournemouth last night.

That’s because former Newcastle youngster Ludwig Francillette featured for Pompey as a trialist.

Francilette failed to make an impact in his two years in the North East but will hope he has done enough to impress Danny Cowley and land himself a contract with the League One club.

However, Jordan Cross of The News Portsmouth doesn’t believe Francillette will make the grade at Fratton Park.

Cross believes that Francilette struggled because “building from the back with the ball at feet didn’t appear to be a natural part of his game”.

He added: “With the way Cowley is looking to play out - as seen in the work of Clark Robertson in pre-season - it’s a stretch to see how Francillette will have any meaningful part to play in Pompey’s story moving forward this term.”

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