Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has backed Tom Cleverley to maintain his recent goalscoring form by tipping the Manchester United loanee to score 10 goals next season.
The 25-year-old midfielder has turned in a number of impressive performances for the Midlands outfit in recent weeks and is expected to be named in the starting XI for this weekend's FA Cup final against Arsenal at Wembley.
In the build-up to the game Sherwood confirmed his desire to keep Cleverley at Villa Park and outlined his hope that the club can reach agreement with the player over a permanent contract.
"I want the club to talk to his representatives and I want him to stay at Villa," the former Tottenham Hotspur head coach was quoted saying by the Daily Mirror.
"He can score goals and I believe that he can score 10 goals next season."
The Red Devils reject will be available on a Bosman free transfer when his Old Trafford deal expires at the end of June after Louis van Gaal deemed Cleverley surplus to requirements at the Theatre of Dreams.
He allowed the ex-England international to see out the remaining 12 months of his contract on loan at another Premier League club, with Aston Villa the beneficiaries of the veteran Dutch coach's cut-throat decision.
After a disappointing 2013/14 campaign under the tutelage of David Moyes, the former Watford and Wigan Athletic loanee jumped at the chance to rebuild his reputation by taking in another temporary spell with a rival top-flight club.
The season-long agreement has certainly helped all parties, with Villa getting a player they perhaps would not have previously had realistic access to, whilst Cleverley has put himself back in contention for a call-up to the Three Lions national team squad.
His performances have also attracted admiring glances from other suitors with Everton manager Roberto Martinez credited with an interest in bringing the Manchester United outcast to Goodison Park.
However, Sherwood remains hopeful that he can convince the player to snub their advances and commit to Aston Villa for the foreseeable future.
Manchester United fans: Do you agree with Tim Sherwood's claim that Tom Cleverley is capable of becoming a 10-goal-a-season midfielder? Are you sad to see him leave Old Trafford? Have your say below…
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