Aston Villa midfielder Tom Cleverley has admitted that he can see himself joining the West Midlands outfit on a permanent basis from Manchester United following a good start to his loan spell at Villa Park.
The England international, who joined Villa on a season-long loan deal at the end of the summer transfer window, could complete a £7.5 million permanent move to the Premier League outfit should manager Paul Lambert decide to give the green light.
Cleverley open to leave United
And it appears that Cleverley may follow his former teammate Danny Welbeck’s lead, but seeking pastures new away from Old Trafford.
“[Aston Villa] is a classy club,” Cleverley revealed in an interview with the Telegraph. “I’ve always come to Villa Park growing up as a kid to watch United in semi-finals and England games so I knew it was a big club.
“Could I stay here? Yeah definitely, I'm enjoying myself. We have a great midfield and I like working under the manager and Roy [Keane] so why not?"
Cleverley clarifies scapegoat comments
Cleverley was often targeted by Manchester United fans who felt the midfielder was under-performing - particularly last season - and the Red Devils’ faithful were angered further when he told reporters that he felt he had been made a scapegoat for the team’s failings.
However, the £70,000-a-week central midfielder clarified those comments in his latest interview, and is now keen to just look to the future following a difficult couple of years.
"As a team, individually we weren't good enough last year,” the 25-year-old added. “I’m not going to say I was a scapegoat because we all got criticism. That's not something I look back on. It has made me a stronger person. I am just looking forward now.
“Every footballer wants the best opportunity to play and I felt like it was here. I don't see this as a backward step at all. I see this as getting back to basics, playing every week and pushing on from here."