Free agent-to-be Tom Cleverley agrees five-year deal with Everton

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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.

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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.