Sheffield United manager responds to Axel Tuanzebe transfer talk after “medical” reports

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Blades linked with ex-Man U starlet

Paul Heckingbottom has responded to transfer talk suggesting Axel Tuanzebe, the former Manchester United youngster, is close to becoming Sheffield United's latest summer signing.

The 25-year-old is a free agent after leaving Old Trafford this summer, having previously spent time on loan at Aston Villa and Stoke City. United are known to be in the market for defensive reinforcements but primarily on the left, where Jack Robinson is currently their only senior left-sided centre-half.

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Tuanzebe is right footed and played on that side of defence on loan at Stoke last season, where he struggled with injuries and only made a handful of appearances. Reports this weekend suggested that Tuanzebe was undergoing a medical at United and while Heckingbottom suggested that talk of the deal being that advanced was premature, he did confirm that Tuanzebe was a player United's recruitment team have looked at this summer as they look to assemble a squad capable of competing at Premier League level.

Of course we're looking, he's a free transfer," Heckingbottom said after United's latest pre-season friendly at Pride Park, which saw his side run out 3-1 winners. "We know every free transfer on the planet."

On reports of a medical today, Heckingbottom said: “First I know”. Asked about a medical or an agreement being close, the United manager responded: “No.”

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Tuanzebe's various injury struggles mean he is yet to play 100 senior games in his career, but his free agent status - and experience at both Premier League and Champions League, including a memorable victory over Neymar and Kylian Mbappe of PSG - has piqued United's interest as they search for reinforcements that suit their transfer profile - and budget - ahead of September 1's transfer deadline.

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