By Greg Stobart
Manchester United midfielder Tom Cleverley has agreed in principal a new five-year contract that will almost double his salary to £60,000-a-week, Goal.com can reveal.
The 23-year-old is expected to officially put pen to paper early in the New Year as Sir Alex Ferguson continues to secure United’s future by tying the club’s best young players down to long contracts.
Goal.com revealed in October that talks were imminent over a new deal for Cleverley to increase his current £35,000 weekly salary - rising to £40,000 including bonuses - to bring his wages in line with the likes of Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
Cleverley only signed his existing deal, which runs until 2015, last October but United were keen to reward him for his impressive form having promised to renegotiate the terms once he became firmly established in the first-team.
It is the same stance taken with the likes of Smalling, Jones, Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez, who have all penned new deals in the last 13 months and are considered the future core of the squad at Old Trafford.
Cleverley’s performances this season have been rewarded with a place in the England starting line-up for the Three Lions’ last four World Cup qualifiers as he begins to fulfil his billing as the so-called ‘new Paul Scholes’.
He scored his first Premier League goal for United in their win at Newcastle earlier this month and is now a regular in Sir Alex Ferguson’s side after injury troubles restricted him to just 15 appearances last season.
Cleverley, a versatile central midfielder, broke into United's first-team squad last term having previously spent time on loan at Leicester, Watford and Wigan.
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