Tom Cleverley Contract Equation
Villa boss Paul Lambert has admitted he would like to keep Tom Cleverley and the original slated fee in the press was reported to be for £7.5m fee, but what exactly happened when the deal turned into a season-long deal? doesn’t have to move in January as he has him on loan for the full season anyway – something not all Villa fans might have known before this week.
Its been suggested in some quarters that the £7.5 million deal was done in principle, but both parties ran out of time, thus the loan was a way of getting the deal over the line before the window closed, so at least the player could start playing for Villa from the off.
MOMS take would be that the fee was the stumbling block and what caused the initial delay. In fact, it caused the deal to break down and the loan option was the compromise for all three parties. Villa got their man, United saved his wages and deadwood and Cleverley got first team football.
Lambert hinted at this in a recent Villa press conference.
“I have the option to buy in January but I have got him for a season long loan anyway,” confirmed Lambert. “I would definitely try (to sign him permanently) but a lot will depend on finances.”
When it comes to the cash most Villa supporters would agree that the originally mooted price of £7.5 million isn’t worth bothering with based upon what we’ve seen thus far.
He’s brought strength in-depth to the Villa midfield, but hasn’t exactly elevated it going forward, when you consider Villa are the lowest ranked attacking force in the Premier League with 11 goals in 19 games.
Tom Cleverley Contract Options
1. Pay the ‘supposed’ asking price of £7.5 million.
It would wrap the deal up, but as we’ve just mentioned, what improvements to the Villa midfield has he brought? Cleverley hasn’t a goal or assist to his name, and you’d expect a lot more than that, when splashing out the kind of cash that would make him Lambert’s most expensive buy. So forking up £7.5 million or a figure close to that isn’t an option.
2. Offer closer to £3 million to wrap up deal
Yes, this would be a more realistic figure and what most Villa supporters would be happy with. It would secure his services for the long-term and maybe improve his performances this season, as he’ll become more comfortable knowing that Villa is his proper home. Will United accept it? Surely £3 million is better than him going for nothing at the end of the season?
3. Wait and get him on a free
As Lambert says, Villa have Cleverley until the end of the season, whatever the financial considerations over a permanent deal. Of course, he’ll be a free agent and be open to approaches from other clubs, including Everton, with Roberto Martinez a keen fan of Cleverley. So it would ultimately be up to the player.
But, if Cleverley has enjoyed his ‘trial period’ and sees his future at Villa Park, then that will work in the club’s favour. When it comes to working out a deal, they would also have the leeway of the money saved on any fee to factor in when offering him a contract.
It’s more of a gamble doing it this way, but they’d only be a real loss if Cleverley has a great second half of the season and really makes a name for himself to attract bigger interest in the summer.
You’d think that the Villa board would try and lock the Cleverley deal down in January, if the price is right. I can’t see Fox breaking the bank to bring him in and the end-of-season loan gives the club a nice insurance policy and a second chance at the end of the season.
At the moment, not many fans would shed a tear if Cleverley went else where at the end of the season. Cleverley hasn’t done too badly in his time at Villa Park, though it’s fair to say he’s been pretty unspectacular. He certainly hasn’t played anywhere near the level that will have his parent club clamoring to get him back to Old Trafford. And if he’s happy and being given the arm around the shoulder he was missing there, then surely he’ll turn to us anyway as a free agent?
Delph and Vlaar are probably going to still be Villa players come February and with the new strategy being ever-so-close to paying off, there’s no need to spend money on something we already have. If Cleverley is staying until May anyway, how about bowing to fan demands and directing the money we have to increase the chances that Delph and Vlaar actually stay beyond this season and add the attacking-midfielder who can actually feed Benteke?
It’s time for some Cleverley poker, but at the moment Villa hold a decent hand in terms of the future of the United midfield player.
Additional reporting by Chris Kemps
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