Long an object of derision for Manchester United supporters, Tom Cleverley may no longer be their problem.
Many members of the Old Trafford faithful will be excited to hear reports that Aston Villa have bid $13-plus million for the 25-year-old England international.
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Now Aston Villa has to hope Cleverley finds Birmingham more attractive than Spain and several other perceived options.
Lambert hopes to persuade Cleverley to reject interest from Hull City and Everton in a move which represents a substantial commitment from owner Randy Lerner.
Cleverley has been told he can leave Old Trafford by new United manager Louis van Gaal and Villa have moved swiftly in an attempt to sign the England international before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Lerner has put the club up for sale and is keen to step aside but has continued to back Lambert this summer, with around £12 million paid out on transfer fees and wages.
And the bid for Cleverley, if successful, will ensure the 25-year-old becomes Villa’s biggest signing since Charles N’Zogbia’s £9.5 million capture from Wigan Athletic in July 2011.
Cleverley’s dip in form has his number of caps for England stranded at 13, and he made just 22 appearances for United last season. A move away from Old Trafford could be the perfect tonic for a player who has been Man Utd property since he was 11 (excluding loan stints to Leicester, Watford and Wigan).
It’s a notable risk for Villa, but we know how overpriced English players tend to be in the Premier League. Risk away, Paul Lambert. Risk away.