Aston Villa are ready to start talks with Tom Cleverley over a permanent move to Villa Park after manager Tim Sherwood was given the green light to offer the Manchester United misfit a long-term contract worth around £40,000-a-week.
According to the Daily Telegraph, the Villains head coach sees the Red Devils loanee as an integral part of his plans moving forward and is hoping to see off rival interest from Everton for the midfielder's signature.
Cleverley is in the final few months of his current £70,000-a-week deal at Old Trafford and will become a free agent at the end of the season after Louis van Gaal deemed him surplus to requirements.
The 25-year-old was allowed to leave the Theatre of Dreams for the final year of his contract last August, and despite making a positive impact in the Midlands the veteran Dutch coach has decided against offering Cleverley an extension.
The former England international has enjoyed some of his best form at Villa since the appointment of Sherwood in February, and that could be a decisive factor for the player to commit his future to the club.
Cleverley will be taking a £30,000-a-week pay cut if he accepts Aston Villa's offer, but it's good to see that his focus is on continuing to rebuild his reputation with the opportunity to play regular Premier League football.
His departure will end a 15-year association with Manchester United after joining the club as a trainee in the summer of 2000, but with competition for places in Van Gaal's midfield increasing it's a switch that has become a necessity.
During the formative stage of his career, Cleverley spent time on loan with Leicester City, Watford and Wigan Athletic, and at his current age it's important that he's getting plenty of competitive minutes which wouldn't have been afforded to him at Old Trafford.
In the short-term the Basingstoke-born star is focused on preserving Aston Villa's top-flight status by helping to steer them away from the relegation zone and also has an FA Cup semi-final clash against Liverpool at Wembley to look forward to this coming weekend.
Winning the most prestigious domestic cup competition would go some way to convincing Cleverley that his future will be best served under Sherwood's tutelage, and would double his personal trophy collection which currently consists of one solitary Premier League winners medal from Sir Alex Ferguson's final season at Manchester United in 2012/13.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Aston Villa would be a good permanent move for Tom Cleverley? Why do you think he failed to ever make the grade at Old Trafford? Have your say below...
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