Tom Cleverley will be a Toffee next season after the soon-to-be free agent midfielder agreed a five-year contract with Everton this week.
Per Everton’s official website, Cleverley will sign his new deal with Everton as soon as he becomes a free agent on July 1. Cleverley, who was loaned by Manchester United to Aston Villa for the 2014-15 Premier League season, nearly joined the Blues last summer before ending up in Claret and Blue instead.
It won’t be Cleverley’s first time playing under Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who previously managed the then-21-year-old midfielder at Wigan Athletic while on loan during the 2010-11 season.
Everton has agreed a deal to sign Tom Cleverley when his contract expires at Manchester United on July 1. The 25-year-old England midfield player will arrive on a five-year contract, becoming the first signing of the summer by manager Roberto Martinez.
Martinez said: “At the age of 25 and a player who is representing his country, Tom has experienced winning trophies and having big roles in demanding teams. Having worked with him previously, I know the type of character he is and I know that, with the Everton fans’ support, we will get a very special footballer joining our already exciting team.”
Many expected Cleverley would have signed a permanent deal with Villa following a fairly successful loan season — particularly the second half under Tim Sherwood — but what is sure to be a larger salary and the chance to compete for a Europa League place probably outweighed the chance to fight relegation at Villa Park again next season, and the next, and the next, and the next, and the next.
Following a disappointing 2014-15 season, don’t be surprised to see Everton make a number of signings in the relative ballpark of Cleverley’s ability/price tag. Center back depth, a replacement for the (likely) departing Kevin Mirallas and reliable depth behind striker Romelu Lukaku should also be high on Martinez’s summer shopping list.