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Midfielder edges closer to United exit

Tom-Cleverley-517051Manchester United could pocket £7.5m for Tom Cleverley when the transfer window opens in January, after Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert confirmed he would like to sign the midfielder on a permanent basis.

Cleverley joined Villa on loan on transfer deadline day, after Louis Van Gaal deemed him surplus to requirements and the 25-year-old could now make his switch to Villa Park permanent, a decision which is unlikely to upset many United fans, who have grown disillusioned and frustrated with the midfielder.

“We’ve got the option to buy in January. I will definitely try. A lot will depend on finances,” said Lambert.

“We’ve had one or two discussions with (chief executive) Tom Fox and Randy. If something comes up and he thinks it’s right for the club and affordable, I’m pretty sure he will look at it.

“I will have a discussion with Tom. I’ve never really had that with him. He’s still a Manchester United player. I’ve got him for a season anyway.”

Lambert added that Cleverley was reaping the benefits of playing regularly, after only having limited opportunities at Old Trafford over the last two seasons.

“Tom’s been great around the place. Sometimes loan players are not like that,” he said. ‘I’m pretty sure he loves his football here. I think he’s played really well.

“He’s only 25, he’s got years ahead of him I’m pretty sure he won’t want to sit around. Knowing Tom Cleverley the way I do now, I’m sure he’s not one of the lads who wants to keep sitting on a bench.”

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