Everton confirm five-year deal with Tom Cleverley

Villa's Tom Cleverley celebrates his goal to regain a two-goal advantage at 3-1 and secure three points - despite an injury-time Phil Jagielka goal
Image: Tom Cleverley: Set to move to Everton on deal until summer 2020

Everton have agreed a five-year deal with midfielder Tom Cleverley.

Cleverley, 25, will sign the long-term contract when his current deal expires with Manchester United on July 1.

The Basingstoke-born player spent last season on loan at Aston Villa for whom he played in last week’s FA Cup defeat by Arsenal at Wembley.

Villa had been keen to sign the midfielder themselves but Roberto Martinez, who worked with Cleverley during a successful loan spell while at the helm at previous club Wigan, capitalised on the opening of the transfer window to sign his man.

Cleverley has been called up to the England squad for the upcoming friendly against the Republic of Ireland and the European Qualifier against Slovenia.

He has featured 13 times for his country since making his debut in England’s first match after Euro 2012 in a 2-1 win against Italy at the Stade de Suisse in Bern.

He (Cleverley) is a perfect fit for what we are trying to build here as he has so much experience of playing in the Premier League and he still has his best years just ahead of him
Roberto Martinez

Martinez said: "We are extremely delighted to be welcoming Tom to Everton and I can think of many reasons as to why our fans will enjoy Tom representing our football club.

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"The most important one is that he is a perfect fit for what we are trying to build here as he has so much experience of playing in the Premier League and he still has his best years just ahead of him.

"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.

"It says a lot also, when someone like Tom is available on a free transfer and he can pick his next club out of many options home and abroad, that he has chosen to play for our football club. That’s the perfect start to his career here at Everton."

Martinez was keen to bolster his midfield and the capture of Cleverley at the second attempt will do that, although the Toffees boss is in the market primarily for a number 10 who can play behind the striker.

He also needs another centre-back after the departure of veteran Sylvain Distin following the expiration of his contract.

Youngster Brendon Galloway will provide back-up in that position after making his first-team breakthrough, although Martinez wants him and the 21-year-old Tyias Browning to go out on loan to gain valuable experience in the Championship and the target is for each to play around 20 matches - ideally in the first half of the season.

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