Everton are hopeful of signing Tom Cleverley from Manchester United on a free transfer within the next 72 hours.
According to James Ducker of The Times, the England midfielder is expected to sign a five year contract, worth about £50k-a-week, with Everton confident of signing him this week.
Cleverley grabbed the limelight few years back when he produced a spectacular cameo performance in Manchester United’s victory over Manchester City few years in the Charity Shield. United fans were so impressed with him that they even displayed a banner ‘Who wants Wesley, We have got Cleverley’, as the club were heavily linked with a move to Dutch international Wesley Sneijder back then.
Cleverley is a player with limited potential, but he used his talent to good effect with sheer hard work. He is probably a victim of over expectations from the fans and excessive hype from the UK press, and now he finds himself a surplus to requirements at Old Trafford.
The 25-year-old has spent the past season on loan at Aston Villa. Tim Sherwood was keen to sign him permanently but Everton had moved in quickly and (almost) secured his signature.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez had been pursuing the midfielder since taking over at Goodison Park two years ago. Martinez worked with the English midfielder for a year during the player’s season long loan to Wigan Athletic from United in 2010-11.
Cleverley rediscovered his best form in the second half of last season for Villa. Martinez hopes to use him in the attacking midfield role in which he excelled under Sherwood, after being regularly used in the deep lying role by Paul Lambert, Sherwood’s predecessor and David Moyes at Old Trafford.