Everton have opened talks with Tom Cleverley in the hopes of signing him when his contract with Manchester United expires this summer.
The English midfielder got a chance to work under Blues boss Roberto Martinez on loan to Wigan Athletic in the 2010-2011 season and Martinez is hoping that this connection may improve his chances of signing Cleverley, as Aston Villa, Arsenal, and Southampton are also eyeing him, according to Phil Kirkbride.
Cleverley was loaned out to Aston Villa by Louis van Gaal this past season where his form improved especially in the second half of the season. Villa manager Tim Sherwood hopes to make his move permanent, joking that he would drop Cleverley from his squad to face Arsenal in last weekend’s FA Cup final if he did not sign with Villa.
Cleverley has admitted that it would be difficult to leave Aston Villa:
“First of all you’ve got to be playing in a position where you fit in, and playing at a club where you like the players and the manager. This club ticks all the boxes so we’ll see what happens. First of all the club have to offer me something.
“I don’t think any Premier League players are going to be short of a quid or two so I think you’ve just got to be happy first and foremost, and I am at this club so let’s just see where we go from there. I’m playing my football with a massive smile on my face and enjoying myself here.
“We’ve got a great group of lads and I’m getting on well with the manager so those are all factors that show I’m happy. I’ve really grown to like playing for this club in the last few months and this manager has got to be given credit for getting me where I’ve been in the last few weeks.”
Despite his interest in Villa, Martinez will remain persistent to win over the much-admired midfielder.
Cleverley mentioned last week that he wanted to join a club for next season before he got married, so Everton could be expecting his decision within just two weeks.