Tom Cleverley
Tom Cleverley will be free to choose a new club in the summer Getty

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has expressed his desire to sign Tom Cleverley in the summer.

The England international is on a season-long loan from Manchester United and his contract with the 20-times English champions is set to expire at the end of the season. So far, Louis van Gaal's side have not offered him a new deal in order to keep him at Old Trafford.

According to the reports, Arsenal, along with Tottenham Hotspur and Everton are also in the race to sign Cleverley. However, Villa are keen to land the 25-year-old and hand him a new contract this summer.

"I've been pleased with Tom. I really like him and like what he adds to the side. He adds a lot of energy, gets back round goalside, links the ball very well," Sherwood told Sky Sports.

"He certainly is one of the names I put on the team-sheet straight away. We're certainly interested in talking to Tom, when the time is right."

"Tom and his representatives, and Aston Villa, are willing to put this on the backburner because they know how important it is to stay in the Premier League. After all Tom wouldn't want to join the club in the Championship. I think there is a good chance we will try and do a deal if it's right for both parties," he said.

Villa are 15<sup>th in the league table with 32 points from 33 games, four points ahead of 18<sup>th place Leicester City. They have also reached the FA Cup final after defeating Liverpool in the last four of the competition.

However, the former Tottenham manager admitted Villa's focus is on avoiding relegation this season.

"We're one million per cent focused on staying in the Premier League. At this stage (it's) probably easier to win the FA Cup than it would be to stay in the Premier League and it's more important for the club to stay in the Premier League," the Villa manager said.

"I'm not saying we don't value the FA Cup, of course we do, this is a club with big history and expectation and we want to (do) both. We think we're capable of doing both but it's paramount that we stay in this league."