Valencia have surprisingly become the latest club to submit a bid for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley, who is also wanted by Aston Villa and Hull City.
Aston Villa reportedly had an £8 million bid accepted by the Red Devils on Thursday, with the club’s manager Paul Lambert hoping to persuade the England international to reject a transfer to Hull or Everton in favour of securing a move to Villa Park.
However, according to Sky Sports, Villa face stiff competition for Cleverley’s services from six-time La Liga champions Valencia.
The Spanish club have also made a bid for Cleverley’s Manchester United teammate Javier Hernandez - and the duo could both leave Old Trafford for the Mestalla before the summer transfer window closes on Monday night.
Cleverley wants to stay at United
Reports suggest that Cleverley, a much-maligned figure at Old Trafford, is keen to stay with Manchester United for one more season.
The 24-year-old’s contract expires next summer, and this means the player will be in a position to negotiate a lucrative signing-on fee with his next employers should he opt to stay put with the Premier League giants until the end of the 2014/15 campaign.
But Cleverley is believed to be one of several Manchester United player that Van Gaal wants off the club’s wage bill before the transfer window closes.
Van Gaal keen to sell Cleverley
The Red Devils smashed the British transfer record on the £59.7 million signing of Argentina international Angel di Maria this week, and United may need to balance their books by offloading some of the club’s unwanted stars - including Cleverley, who was linked with Arsenal earlier this summer - before they can purchase again.
United are still in the market for a new central defender and a new central midfielder, with Juventus star Arturo Vidal top of Van Gaal’s wish-list.
United shifting deadwood from squad
United are currently in the process of selling or loaning out those players who Van Gaal has deemed surplus to requirements.
Wilfried Zaha has completed a season-long loan - with a view to a permanent transfer - back to Crystal Palace, while Shinji Kagawa is expected to rejoin Borussia Dortmund after agreeing personal terms with the Bundesliga outfit.
Hernandez should move to either Valencia or Juventus, Nani has rejoined Sporting Lisbon on a season-long loan, and United are also desperate to sell Brazilian midfielder Anderson but have so far failed to find a club willing to pay his wages.
Cleverley was given the chance to impress in pre-season - and was even named captain against AS Roma on the club’s tour of the United States - but Van Gaal knows that, in order to qualify for the top-four this season, recruiting an upgrade is essential.