Paul Lambert has confirmed Aston Villa have the option to take Tom Cleverley from Manchester United on a permanent basis in the New Year.
Having progressed through the youth ranks at Old Trafford, the midfielder lost his way over the past couple of seasons, and is now deemed surplus to requirements by Louis van Gaal. The Dutch coach was happy to let the 25-year-old leave during the summer window and was willing to sell him, but instead the player headed to the Midlands on a temporary deal for the rest of the season.
However, as he is in the final year of his contract at United, the Reds will probably be hoping to cash in on Cleverley when the window reopens in January, rather than lose him for nothing in the summer. And Villa Lambert has now revealed he has secured the first option to take the former Leicester City, Watford and Wigan Athletic loanee on a permanent basis.
“We have an option on Tom,” said the Scot. “We have not gone into great detail but he has played well. He has so much to offer. He’s a good guy, a good professional and does everything high tempo even when he trains. Whatever happens in January will happen, the option is there but we still have a couple of months to go. I just want him to play well here and enjoy it and that’s what he is doing which is half the battle. It’s not been an easy start playing at a new club but come January we will see.”
Cleverley, who has 13 international caps for England, has made five appearances for Villa this season, to add to his sole outing for United back in August. He will likely feature again on Monday evening when Lambert takes his side to the capital to face bottom-placed club Queens Park Rangers, a match in which Villa will be looking to end a dismal run of four successive defeats.
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