Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has revealed that the West Midlands club have the option to sign midfielder Tom Cleverley on a permanent deal in January.
Cleverley has been enjoying playing regular football so far this season with Villa and many considered his loan move as a prelude to an exit from Manchester United.
Now, Lambert admits Villa do have the option to make the move permanent but insisted nothing was yet agreed.
“We have an option on Tom. We have not gone into great detail but he has played well. He was the one lad who was busy on Saturday, he has so much to offer,” Lambert said.
“He’s a good guy, a good pro and he does everything at a high tempo even when he trains. Whatever happens in January will happen, the option is there but we still have a couple of months to go.”
Previously, United’s academy director Brian McClair said he didn’t believe Cleverley’s career at United was necessarily over just yet despite the loan move to Villa.
“You don’t know what’s going to happen because he’s only on loan at Villa,” he told ESPN.
“I think he’s a good player. He came from Bradford when he was 12. At 16 we didn’t offer him a scholarship.
“He stayed at school and he worked as hard he possibly could, while still at school and at the end of that two-year period, because he had developed more physically, he had a professional contract.
“He’s gone on from that to represent his country and to play many games in the Premier League.”
This is Cleverley’s fourth loan spell since 2009 but he has never been able to break into United’s set-up and didn’t impress Louis van Gaal enough to earn a place in his squad, so the signs point towards him leaving on a permanent deal sooner rather than later and it may well be to Villa if Lambert decides to take United up on the option to buy.