United outcast Cleverley could be the key to making De Bruyne a more realistic target for Premier League trio

The ex Chelsea midfielder has been in superb form in Germany, and is said to be on the shortlist of Manchester United, Liverpool and Manchester City.

Wolfsburg's Kevin de Bruyne has proved himself an attacking midfielder of the highest order since departing Chelsea in January 2014.

Having struggled to get into Jose Mourinho's side, there are plenty that are now chasing the former Genk star, with Liverpool, Manchester United and Manchester City just some of the Premier League clubs who have been credited with an interest at one point or another by sources such as the Star.

And United reject Tom Cleverley, who has been rebuilding his career on loan at Aston Villa before his Old Trafford contract expires this summer, could be the key to any club's pursuit of the Belgium international.

De Bruyne has had a phenomenal season that has seen him score 15 goals and provide an incredible 27 assists in Germany, with the Wolves currently second to only Bayern Munich in the Bundesliga.

Few players in Europe can boast such statistics, and the Belgian's agent has already admitted that the likes of Manchester City, PSG and Bayern Munich are in touch regarding the 23-year-old's availability, as quoted by Talksport.

That would mean that the German side will be interested in a replacement, and Englishman Cleverley, who himself has 3 goals in 3 games, has been placed on Wolfsburg's shortlist by sources such as Sky Sports.  

Though there are a lot of ifs and buts to the deal, the England international's recent form under Tim Sherwood at Aston Villa certainly makes him an attractive proposition for most clubs seeking to add quality on a free transfer.

Sherwood will be hoping that Villa's results over the last couple of months will be enough to see him sign up on a permanent deal once his United contract has expired, though that may hinge on the club's success in the FA Cup final with Arsenal.

But if Wolfsburg feel that they can get the 25-year-old to Germany for nothing, they may just consider encouraging a bidding war for their outstanding young Belgian, something that would surely be met with glee by the host of Premier League clubs following De Bruyne.

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