Roberto Martinez has admitted he failed in an attempt to bring Tom Cleverley to Everton on transfer deadline day.
The Manchester United midfielder was made available with just hours to spare in the transfer window with Aston Villa eventually landing him on a season long loan. After a disagreement regarding his £70,000-a-week wages, the deal was only confirmed around 14 hours after the original deadline had passed.
Toffees boss Martinez admitted that his club were in the mix for Cleveley amongst others, but could not complete the deals. The Spaniard said he was happy not to have agreed to deals as, in hinsight, he is not sure in the deals would have worked.
Asked by reporters if he tried to sign Cleverley, Martinez said: “Always on the last day of the transfer window opportunities arise and we looked at a couple.
“I felt it was an opportunity for us to add a player to bring something different but at the end it wasn’t right. It didn’t work out.
“We tried to look into a couple of opportunities, but they didn’t come off and the reality is they probably weren’t the right ones.”
Martinez would have been well aware of what Cleverley could bring to his Everton team. The 25-year-old played under Martinez whilst at loan with Wigan Athletic.
His time with the Latics helped establish him as a first team regular at Old Trafford but, since then, Cleverley has not developed as well as Manchester United coaches would have hoped.
The England international has found himself on the receiving end of a number of social media campaigns, designed to criticise him for his sub-par performances.
Thousands of fans signed a campaign to have Cleverley thrown out of the England squad and a recent Twitter Q&A session was taken over by disgruntled Manchester United fans.
For Cleverely, his loan deal at Villa Park represents his final chance to make it at Manchester United. The perennial underperformer will have to impress Louis van Gaal this season and convince him not to sign a new midfielder with his bulging transfer budget.
Paul Lambert is likely to give Cleverley a run of games in the first team, which is something he has never enjoyed at Manchester United. It could be the chance he needs in order to finally reach his potential.