Tom Cleverley admits it would be difficult to leave Aston Villa

The Manchester United loanee is set to be a free agent this summer.

Manchester United-owned Tom Cleverley has admitted to the Telegraph that it would be difficult to leave Aston Villa ahead of becoming a free agent this summer.

Cleverley, 25, signed for Villa on a season-long loan in September after being deemed surplus to requirement at Old Trafford, but his lacklustre performances under former manager Paul Lambert saw him become the target of abuse from a section of fans.

The midfielder has been in resurgent form since Tim Sherwood’s arrival, however, scoring in three consecutive games after a 16th-month goalless spell and earning support for an England recall.

With his recent outings helping him win over the claret and blue faithful’s support, Sherwood has not hidden his desire to secure the Bradford-native to a permanent deal when his United contract expires this summer, but there is now believed to be serious competition for his signature.

Everton have been linked with him since the start of the season, having spent the 2010-11 season on loan at Roberto Martinez’s Wigan Athletic, while German giants Werder Bremen are also said to among his potential suitors [h/t Sky Sports].

However, while he has not made a decision on his future at this point, Cleverley stresses that leaving Villa would prove tough after experiencing the improved atmosphere around the club in recent months.

“I want to get my future sorted before I go away in the summer and get married,” he said. “I’ve not made any decision yet but 100 per cent [it would be difficult to leave].

“I’m enjoying myself here, with a fantastic group of lads and a great manager.”

While a departure remains possible, Cleverley could still write himself into Villa folklore at the weekend with an FA Cup final performance against Arsenal like the man of match-winning one he delivered in the semi-final victory over Liverpool.

The Gunners go into the match as obvious favourites after Sherwood’s men ended their league season with back-to-back defeats, including a 6-1 thumping at Southampton, but the United loanee is adamant that an upset could be on the cards.

“Arsenal are a tough team to play against,” said Cleverley. “They’ve spent massively on the squad, so they’re going to have quality.

“But if we stick to our gameplan like we did against Liverpool, when we dominated the game, and came from behind against a team in the Champions League this year, I think we have every chance of doing it against Arsenal.”

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