Dean Smith is keen to be reunited with the 23-year-old, who was part of the Villa team which won promotion to the Premier League in 2019 during a previous loan stay.
United are content to let Tuanzebe leave this summer on a temporary basis and Newcastle are among the clubs to have expressed an interest.
But it is Villa who have emerged as frontrunners for his signature. Should Tuanzebe join it would be his third loan spell at Villa Park, after he made five appearances during the 2017-18 season under Steve Bruce.
Another former Villa loanee, Tammy Abraham, has meanwhile emerged as a genuine striker target in the final weeks of the window.
The 23-year-old is expected to leave Chelsea this summer and Villa are expected to make a bid should Jack Grealish leave for Manchester City in a £100million deal.
Adding a striker was not originally part of Villa’s strategy but there is uncertainty over Wesley following his long-term injury, while Keinan Davis has been ruled out for around two months with an injury.
Davis had been likely to leave on loan with a host of Championship clubs interested but that plan has now been shelved.