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Villa decline chance to buy Manchester United midfielder at deadline

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When Tom Cleverley arrived on loan from Manchester United in the summer transfer window, it was well-established that he came with an option for Aston Villa to purchase him. And for the first few matches this season, it looked as if he might make that decision an easy one. He was playing solid, if uninspiring, football. He didn't make mistakes and he held up play fairly well.

Unfortunately, it's the last few matches that have made that decision easy, but they are a total reversal from his earlier form. Cleverley has shown an almost total lack of willingness to pass the ball forward, an inability to create, and a lack of desire to take over possession. At this point the best that can be said about Tom Cleverley playing for Aston Villa is "he's not Charles N'Zogbia."

So it should come as no surprise that Aston Villa have declined the option to buy Cleverley.

He's not been bad enough to be a total pariah, but at £7 million Villa could do far better. Now, if they still want him, they can wait until he's available for free in the summer window. But I wouldn't expect them to even try.