Tim Sherwood discusses Tom Cleverley's Aston Villa future

Tom Cleverley

With the on-loan midfielder's Manchester United contract expiring in the summer, the Villa boss has admitted that he is keen to get a permanent deal done.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has revealed that there is a “good chance” the club will try to sign Manchester United loanee Tom Cleverley in the summer.

Sherwood speaking at his pre-match press conference ahead of weekend’s trip to Manchester City, having seen Cleverley named man of the match in last Sunday’s 2-1 FA Cup win over Liverpool.

The United-owned midfielder has been a regular in the side since arriving on a season-long loan in the hope of reviving his stagnating career, but his performances over the first half of the campaign were so poor that former boss Paul Lambert had to refute suggestions that he was being forced to start him due to a clause in his contract.

He has turned around his form in remarkable fashion since Sherwood’s arrival, however, and, with his United contract expiring in the summer, the Villa chief is keen to acquire his services on a permanent basis.

“I’ve been pleased with Tom,” he said. “I like him and what he adds to the side. He gives us a lot of energy, gets back round goal-side and links the ball very well.

“I think he can add goals to his game – I think that’s a natural progression for him now. He certainly is one of the names I put on the teamsheet straight away.”

With Premier League survival still not quite assured, though, Sherwood stresses that talks over a long-term deal won’t begin until after the season.

“We are certainly interested in talking to Tom when the time is right but Tom, his representatives and Aston Villa are willing to put this on the backburner,” he added.

“They know how important it us to stay in the Premier League because, after all, Tom wouldn’t want to join a club in the Championship.

“I think there’s a good chance we will try and do a deal and see if it’s right for both parties.”

Nevertheless, Villa could face stiff competition in the race for Cleverley’s signature, with Sky Sports reporting last week that the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Everton and West Ham Untied are all keeping close tabs on his situation.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch