Paul Lambert, the Aston Villa manager, has had an £8 million bid for Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley accepted, and is ready to open contract talks with Fabian Delph after his call-up to the England squad.
Lambert hopes to persuade Cleverley to reject interest from Hull City and Everton in a move which represents a substantial commitment from owner Randy Lerner.
Cleverley has been told he can leave Old Trafford by new United manager Louis van Gaal and Villa have moved swiftly in an attempt to sign the England international before the transfer window closes on Monday.
Lerner has put the club up for sale and is keen to step aside but has continued to back Lambert this summer, with around £12 million paid out on transfer fees and wages.
And the bid for Cleverley, if successful, will ensure the 25-year-old becomes Villa’s biggest signing since Charles N’Zogbia’s £9.5 million capture from Wigan Athletic in July 2011.
Hull are also believed to have had a bid for Cleverley accepted while Everton manager Roberto Martinez, who signed Cleverley on loan during his spell at former club Wigan Athletic, could make a move.
Lambert is also ready to speed up talks with Delph over a new deal after the midfielder was included in Roy Hodgson’s senior squad for the games against Norway and Switzerland.
Delph, 24, has less than 12 months remaining on his contract and though he is settled at Villa there is also a risk that his call-up could alert other clubs. Talks are likely to start after the international break and, more pertinently, when the window closes.
Lambert said: “As soon as players get picked for England things escalate so we’ll have to sit and see what he thinks himself.”
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