Aston Villa could struggle to retain Ron Vlaar this summer

Trinity Road Stand - Aston Villa

Following a string of impressive World Cup performances, the Villains may find it difficult to keep hold of the Dutch defender.

The 29-year-old centre-back was one of the stand out players in a Netherlands side that surpassed expectations in Brazil, finishing third following a 3-0 victory over the host nation on Saturday evening.

Vlaar proved himself to be a solid and accomplished defender throughout the tournament, and his contribution to the Dutch cause did not go unnoticed by the media, or indeed by his manager. 

It was Vlaar's penalty shoot-out miss in the semi-final against Argentina that eventually signalled the end of Holland's World Cup hopes, but this didn't deter Louis Van Gaal from speaking highly of the 6"3 defender, stating that despite the penalty miss Vlaar had been 'the best player on the pitch'

With the World Cup now over and Van Gaal preparing to lead a new era at Old Trafford, there has been continued speculation to suggest the 62-year-old will look to reunite with Vlaar at Manchester United.

It remains to be seen whether or not there is any real substance to these stories, but Vlaar is almost certain to attract attention from a number of possible suitors, meaning Aston Villa could be in for a turbulent summer trying to hang on to the defender. 

Of course Villa couldn't have predicted that Vlaar would have a World Cup as strong as he did, but failure to tie up a contract for the 29-year-old prior to the tournament now leaves the club in a tricky position. 

Should Vlaar desire a move away from Villa Park he now has the leverage to do so, and if Paul Lambert hopes to keep the defender his wage demands may have as much as doubled. 

With the Dutchman heading into the twilight of his career, Vlaar is likely to want to test himself at a higher level before his time is up. So far this summer Lambert's business in the transfer market has done little to spark expectations of a promising season to come, and it may be that the club no longer match the ambitions of their captain. 

As it stands the immediate future of Vlaar is unknown and it is a saga which will no doubt play it's way out over the coming weeks. But it's been proven in the past that a strong World Cup is not always the best measure of a player, and this could perhaps come as a blessing in disguise for Aston Villa should they be given no alternative than to cash in on the defender.

Register for ASTON VILLA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch