Aston Villa’s hopes of signing Tom Cleverley on a permanent deal are over, and they also face the prospect of losing Ron Vlaar during the coming weeks.
Cleverley spent last season on loan at the Midlands giants having fallen out of favour at Manchester United, and went on to make 38 appearances for the club in all competitions. The 25-year-old’s contract at Old Trafford will expire at the end of the month when he will become a free agent.
Tim Sherwood had made no secret of his desire to sign the England international on a permanent deal, but he has been pipped to the post by Everton. Cleverley worked under Roberto Martinez during a loam spell at Wigan Athletic, and the Spaniard is looking forward to their reunion next term.
“I can think of many reasons as to why our fans will enjoy Tom Cleverley,” he said. “The most important one is that he is a perfect fit for what we are trying to build here as he has so much experience of playing in the Premier League and he still has his best years just ahead of him.
“Tom has experienced winning trophies and having big roles in demanding teams. Having worked with him previously, I know the type of character he is and I know that, with the Everton fans’ support, we will get a very special footballer joining our already exciting football team.”
The next battle facing Sherwood is that of central defender Vlaar, who joined Villa from Feyenoord for £3.2million in the summer of 2012 but is out of contract at the end of June. The 30-year-old has been offered fresh terms, but will consider other options before making a decision.
In recent months the Holland international has been linked with several clubs, including Arsenal, Southampton, Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United and Italian giants Napoli, although the player is thought to be settled in the Midlands and may yet decide to sign a new deal.