Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley personally forced through a season-long loan switch to Aston Villa in a frantic late dash on Monday night, phoning Paul Lambert to repair the damage after farcical scenes saw the England international fail to report for a medical ahead of a proposed permanent move to Villa Park.
Cleverley and his agent Simon Kennedy left Villa in the cold after hearing that Everton's interest in a last-ditch £5.5m transfer was serious just hours before the window slammed shut, but that move failed to materialise and left the 25-year-old on the bring of a season in the cold at United.
The Sun has revealed today that relations between Kennedy and Villa got frosty that Cleverley picked up the phone to Lambert himself to repair the damage, convincing Lambert that it was still worth forcing through a loan deal for the talented star despite the near calamitous late mix-up.
Cleverley's desire to make sure he didn't spend a season on Man United's bench, as was his initial preference to sign for Everton.
The once-promising playmaker enjoyed a terrific working relationship with current Toffees boss Roberto Martinez at Wigan Athletic and wanted to revive that partnership if possible at Goodison Park, but Everton refused to meet United's valuation and as a result the Red Devils blocked that transfer.
United also turned down Everton's efforts to get the player on loan, because they were furious the chance of a loan move to Merseyside because they were furious Villa withdrew interest in £7m deal as a result.
Luckily for Cleverley the Red Devils understood his desperation to find a fresh challenge and regular first-team football at Villa Park, eventually putting through the final Premier League deal of a frantic transfer window.
England thoughts at the forefront of deal
Cleverley insisted after the Premier League ratified his season-long loan move on Tuesday that international ambitions were also prevalent in his thoughts before phoning Lambert and begging Villa to reignite interest.
He is quoted by The Sun as waxing lyrical about the prospect of playing week-in week-out under the guidance of Lambert and Roy Keane and hopefully forcing his way back into the England setup.
The much-maligned midfielder said:"It’s a team that plays the style of football I like.
“They play with high energy, they pass and move and there are a lot of good young players.
“Hopefully I can bring a bit of big-game experience and add to the squad and help us to win some games.
“I have got to get back playing in the Premier League and hopefully as a by-product of that I can get back in the England team.”
It's now up to Cleverley to take on the mantle of helping a Villa side synonymous with counter-attacking play with more purpose in possession, particularly at Villa Park.
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