Arsenal are considering a shock move in signing Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley this summer, according to Sky Sports.
The 25-year-old was not part of Louis van Gaal's plan at Old Trafford this season and the Dutchman allowed him to leave the club. He joined Aston Villa on a season-long loan and his contract is set to expire at the end of the season.
The England international endured a poor run under former United manager David Moyes last season. Cleverley was one of the players who was subjected to heavy criticism from a section of United supporters and pundits.
Since making a switch to Villa Park, Cleverley has been a regular inclusion in Villa's starting line up. He has kept his place even after Tim Sherwood replaced Paul Lambert as Villa's manager.
Cleverley has already admitted that he is unlikely to play for United as he believes they will not extend his contract this summer and allow him to leave as a free agent. With the midfielder available for nothing in the summer, Arsene Wenger is hoping to make an approach for him.
The same report from Sky Sports also suggests that the Gunners' arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur are also believed to be keen on signing Cleverley. He played under Everton manager Roberto Martinez while the latter was at Wigan Athletic.
This has seen him being linked with a move to the Merseyside club. However, the Toffees manager has rejected the reports suggesting the deal is in place between the player and Everton over a summer switch.
Meanwhile, a Guardian report claims Sherwood is hoping to offer Cleverley a new contract in the next couple of weeks in order to sign him on a permanent transfer once his loan deal expires.
The former Tottenham boss has been impressed with the United midfielder's performance and wants to tie him down on a permanent transfer. However, Cleverley is not willing to make any decision soon as he wants to weigh his options before that.
According to Sky Sports, Germany outfit Schalke are in the race to sign him too, while clubs in Italy and Spain are also monitoring the midfielder's situation.
With Arsenal's interest, Cleverley can have an opportunity to play in the Champions League next season, something the other interested clubs will not be able to offer him if he joins them.