By Matt Farr
Everton midfielder Tom Cleverley is set to join Watford on a permanent deal this summer, it has been confirmed.
The 27-year-old is currently on loan at Premier League rivals Watford until the end of the season, but is set to make his move permanent after a deal was agreed between the two clubs.
Everton confirmed the transfer on their official Twitter account on Friday afternoon, announcing that Watford had exercised their option to sign the player permanently.
— Everton (@Everton) March 31, 2017
Watford confirmed on their own official Twitter account that the England international had signed a five-year deal with the club.
Cleverley had struggled to establish himself in the Everton first team under Ronald Koeman this season, and was permitted to leave the club on loan in January after a lack of appearances.
He had made just 10 Premier League appearances during the first half of the campaign, of which only four were starts.
But he has been a valuable first team regular since his move to Watford, starting seven of his eight Premier League appearances.
He was a casualty of a major squad overhaul by Koeman in January, but Watford appear to have done the Everton chief a huge favour by agreeing to take him off his hands on a permanent basis.
Football Insider verdict
The deal is a benefit to both parties. Cleverley was having little impact on the first team squad at Everton, and Watford have offered him a fresh start. Although Watford’s form in the Premier League has dipped in recent weeks, Cleverley has proven to be an important player and the club’s decision to exercise a permanent deal for the player proves how valuable an asset they believe him to be. For Everton, it means removing more of the deadwood from their squad ahead of the summer transfer window, while the fans are also likely to be pleased with the confirmed deal.
In other Everton transfer news, a report has detailed the stumbling block that Everton must overcome in their pursuit of this £20million defender.