Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley could complete a dramatic late loan move to Aston Villa, it has emerged.
Ex-BBC Sport broadcaster James Pearce tweeted on Tuesday morning: “Cleverley maybe going to Villa after all. Villa came back VERY late when Everton collapsed. Season loan if Premier League accept paperwork.
“Cleverley was still at Carrington at 2am trying to get the deal across line. Timings very tight though. Ball now in Premier League court.”
This was followed up by the Telegraph’s reliable reporter John Percy tweeting: “#avfc waiting for Premier League to agree Tom Cleverley's loan from #mufc, after late move last night. Would be loan until January if agreed.”
Cleverley's wage demands
Cleverley was expected to depart Manchester United before the transfer window closed at 11pm on Monday night after being informed by Louis van Gaal that he was free to leave Old Trafford.
Villa submitted an £8 million bid for the midfielder’s services last week, which was accepted by United, only for his representatives to demand double the £30,000-a-week salary he currently receives at the Theatre of Dreams.
Cleverley’s proposed transfer to Everton also fell through late on Monday night, again because of wage demands, but Villa made one final last-ditch attempt to sign him on loan - and may have been successful.
Cleverley unpopular at Old Trafford
The much-maligned 25-year-old, a product of Manchester United’s youth system, became - in his own words - a “scapegoat” for the Red Devils’ failure last season.
But Sir Alex Ferguson and David Moyes clearly felt that Cleverley, who was also linked with a move to Arsenal this summer, was a player with considerable talent. Capped 13 times by England, Roy Hodgson appeared to share that same opinion, although the United midfielder was not part of the Three Lions’ 23-man World Cup squad.
Cleverley, who also represented Great Britain at the 2012 Olympic Games, made his competitive debut for Manchester United in the 2011 Community Shield victory over local rivals Manchester City.
Prior to that he had enjoyed successful loan spells with Leicester City, Watford and Wigan Athletic.
Cleverley under-appreciated at United?
But his performances over the last two seasons have been below-par - and the majority of Manchester United supporters have failed to warm to the central midfielder, who suggested that his style of play would be appreciated more if he was playing in Spain.
La Liga side Valencia were linked with Cleverley last week, but a move to the Spanish club failed to materialise.
But the England international could become the 19th player to leave Old Trafford this summer. Javier Hernandez, Danny Welbeck, Michael Keane, Nick Powell and Tom Lawrence all left the club on deadline day.