Cleverley's former club were in line for a windfall had the midfielder sealed a permanent move away from Old Trafford, and Rhodes is fearful that Cleverley will now run down his United contract and leave on a free.
"He's only got a year left in his contract and you do worry he will run that down and leave for nothing in the summer," Rhodes told the Telegraph and Argus.
"[Co-chairman] Mark Lawn and I were doing cartwheels when it looked like the deal would go through for £7.5m. I found out the following morning they had resurrected something with Villa but got nervous when I heard it was only a loan.
"I don't think Villa ever had a problem with making it permanent but Tom wanted better personal terms. I'm not sure how that will get resolved in January. They have an option to buy him then but I assume the same obstacles will be in the way."