Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley is expected to seal a permanent transfer to Everton this summer.
The England international will stay on loan with Aston Villa until the end of the season - despite reports that United had threatened to recall the midfielder unless the West Midlands outfit pay a £7 million buyout fee - before joining the Toffees in time for the start of the 2015-16 campaign.
This is according to the Daily Mail, who understand Cleverley is keen to link up with Roberto Martinez at Goodison Park. The 25-year-old worked under Martinez during a previous loan spell with Wigan Athletic and is determined to reunite with the Spanish coach next season.
Cleverley's contract expires this summer
It means Cleverley has almost certainly played his final match for Manchester United, with his current contract set to expire this summer.
The Basingstoke-born midfielder joined the Red Devils from Bradford City at the age of 11 and turned professional in 2009.
As well as a loan spell with Wigan, Cleverley was also sent to Leicester City and Watford before returning to Old Trafford and becoming a first-team regular with Manchester United.
He made 32 appearances in all competitions during the 2012-13 campaign, Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season in charge of the Red Devils, and followed that up by making 31 appearances last season.
However, the midfielder was often criticised by supporters for his performances, leading the player to admit he sometimes felt like a “scapegoat” for the team’s shortcomings under former manager David Moyes.
Cleverley looked bright on United’s pre-season tour of the United States - and even captained the side on one occasion - but was loaned to Aston Villa in September.
Boost for Aston Villa
To date he has made 20 appearances for Paul Lambert’s side, who currently sit 16th in the Premier League table, three points above 18th-placed Hull City.
Villa appear to be in serious danger of being relegated to the Championship, but retaining the service of Cleverley until the end of the season will be a boost to the West Midlands outfit.
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