With Manchester United signing the likes of Ander Herrera, Angel Di Maria and Daley Blind last summer, there was clearly no room for Tom Cleverley at Old Trafford.
Cleverley, 25, joined United as an 11-year-old from Bradford City, and made his way up through the ranks with the Red Devils before eventually becoming a first team regular under Sir Alex Ferguson.
Yet under David Moyes, the England international became a scapegoat, and was regularly criticised by United fans for his poor performances.
It was therefore little surprise when Cleverley became available, with Everton pushing for a deal to sign him on deadline day in September.
The Toffees are managed by Roberto Martinez, who coached Cleverley during a loan spell with Wigan, and the Spaniard is known to be a big fan of Cleverley's passing ability.
However, no deal was struck with Everton, leaving Cleverley to join Aston Villa on loan instead, who had previously seen an £8m bid for the midfielder collapse.
Under Paul Lambert, Cleverley has played 16 games for Villa, and a permanent deal was expected during the transfer window this month - only for a surprise U-turn.
According to reports, Cleverley will snub a permanent stay at Villa Park in favour of finally moving to Everton to reunite with Martinez.
The Toffees are believed to be pushing for a £7m deal to lure him away from Villa, in a move which will frustrate Lambert and finally end Cleverley's United career for good.