Updates from Tuesday, Sept. 2
Aston Villa reported that a deal was done for Cleverley:
Sky Sports' Peter O'Rourke reports that the deal has been approved by the Premier League:
Trusted Manchester correspondent Andy Mitten insists the deal will take place:
Tom C signed loan deal with Villa. Awaiting PL approval. His dad sent me this y/day. Tom's 1st day at MUFC 14 yrs ago pic.twitter.com/sMTi5dKVri— Andy Mitten (@AndyMitten) September 2, 2014
Sports correspondent James Pearce also believes the deal will happen:
Cleverley maybe going to Villa after all. Villa came back VERY late when Everton collapsed. Season loan if Premier League accept paperwork— James Pearce (@Pearcesport) September 2, 2014
Updates from Monday, Sept. 1
Percy claims Villa cannot afford the Manchester United midfielder's current demands:
Villa are facing an uphill task due to Cleverley’s salary expectations, with the 25-year-old’s representatives believed to be demanding around £60,000 a week.
[...] Lambert said on Sunday night: “He’s still a Manchester United player and nothing has moved forward on that one at the moment.”
Aston Villa have put in a bid for Real Sociedad midfielder Sergio Canales. The 23-year-old is an attacking midfielder once of Real Madrid. With Karim El Ahmadi heading out and Tom Cleverley stalling, Paul Lambert is looking at bringing in the former Spain Under-21 international.
Tom Cleverley seems destined to leave Manchester United during this transfer window. The only question is where the disappointing England midfielder will end up.
There are conflicting reports about Spanish interest, with La Liga side Valencia said to have made a bid. That's according to Sky Sports News:
However, these claims were quickly refuted by football writer Dermot Corrigan:
All Cleverley to Valencia stuff seems to be coming from England end. Nothing in local press. United would have to do deal with Lim / Mendes— Dermot Corrigan (@dermotmcorrigan) August 29, 2014
A move within England's Premier League could be more likely. Aston Villa have reportedly offered £8 million for Cleverley, according to John Percy of the Daily Telegraph. In a separate report, Percy confirmed United have accepted the bid from the Midlands club.
There are merits to both potential moves for Cleverley, who simply hasn't made the grade at Old Trafford. The 25-year-old was targeted as a scapegoat for many of United's shortcomings last season.
Could Cleverley revive his career at Aston Villa?
Not all of the criticism was unjustified. Cleverley has failed to add creativity and goals to his obviously ample amounts of energy and graft. He managed just one league goal last season, with no assists, per WhoScored.com.
Cleverley could consider a move abroad smart when considering his reputation in England is in tatters. However, he would be guaranteed a prominent role at Villa.
Manager Paul Lambert could deploy him in a deep-lying position, one of the few areas Cleverley has looked competent. He flourished there for the Great Britain squad at the 2012 Olympics.
Cleverley played a shielding role just in front of the back four. A return to that position could be his quickest route to a career revival.
Lambert has taken to playing two men in front of his Villa defence so far this season in an attempt to tighten things up. Cleverley could form a decent partnership with Fabian Delph.
Cleverley was once a highly touted young ace, but he has suffered a spectacular fall from grace in recent seasons. He needs a move as badly as new United boss Louis van Gaal needs to trim a bloated and decaying squad.
Van Gaal is already taking steps to rid United of more deadwood. He has sent lacklustre young winger Wilfried Zaha back to former club Crystal Palace on loan, per the club's official Twitter feed:
But a permanent switch would seem to suit Cleverley best. While it's tough to believe he will ever be more than a functional midfielder, the player certainly needs more regular games than he will receive at Old Trafford.
This is a rare transfer win-win for both selling club and player.