Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is reported to have met with Roy Keane to discuss a proposed move to Aston Villa before the close of the transfer window after the Midlands club formalised their interest.
It would appear Cleverley is set to leave the club with deadline day fast approaching and, according to the Daily Mail, Aston Villa have established themselves as the frontrunners after a meeting held with Keane.
The former Manchester United captain is, of course, deputy to Paul Lambert at Villa Park and has spoken to Cleverley in a bid to convince him that a transfer to the club represents the best move for his faltering career.
Villa have submitted an official £7 million offer for the 25-year-old midfielder although it would appear he is not entirely convinced about making a permanent transfer away from Old Trafford in the coming days.
It is claimed that Cleverley’s preference is to leave Manchester United on loan for the duration of the season, and instead pursuing a move away next summer when he will be available on a free transfer.
Cleverley will, then, be able to negotiate an improved salary with no potential transfer fee attached to a prospective move, while a season of regular Premier League football may result in a move to a club of greater standing.
The England international is one of two midfielders who could be sold by Louis van Gaal in the coming days, with Shinji Kagawa seemingly close to completing a return to former club Borussia Dortmund.
More signings needed
These potential departures will only serve to reinforce the need to bolster the midfield department before the window’s closure, with Van Gaal short on quality options for these positions.
Should Cleverley leave, then Darren Fletcher will be the only fit senior central midfielder available to Van Gaal, with Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick and Marouane Fellaini all currently nursing injuries.
The acquisition of another player for these positions is imperative, with Chile international Arturo Vidal the candidate to have been most extensively linked with a move to the club.
It was reported this week that Vidal’s agent has been in Manchester to agree a deal with Ed Woodward, although the Juventus player has since claimed that he will remain in Turin for the time being at least.