Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar is a wanted man after his impressive performances for the Netherlands during their run to the World Cup semi-finals, with Tottenham Hotspur the latest club said to be courting the Dutchman’s signature.
With Southampton also after the centre-back, as Dejan Lovren looks set for a move to Liverpool, Spurs are reportedly willing to offer Lewis Holtby, Michael Dawson and cash for the Villa skipper, as new boss Mauricio Pochettino looks to bolster his defence ahead of his first season in charge.
Both Holtby and Dawson have been deemed expendable at White Hart Lane, the former having spent the second half of 2013-14 on loan at Fulham, though a deal would still hinge on whether the pair would be willing to accept a move to Villa Park.
Taking on the Villa captaincy just months after signing from Feyenood in August 2012, Vlaar’s veteran leadership has been vital to the inexperienced squad’s efforts to stave off relegation in consecutive campaigns, as the sole consistent performer on an unreliable backline.
However, at 29 and entering the final season of his contract, such a deal could prove too good for the financial stricken club to turn down, as want-away owner Randy Lerner struggles to find potential buyers.
Having already been linked to Manchester United, Queens Park Rangers and Roma earlier this summer, Villa have an obvious need for Vlaar’s experience in their lineup, but receiving two proven Premier League commodities in return, plus a fee, would be an appealing proposition for the rebuilding outfit.
Paul Lambert has been forced to look to low-cost, veteran options so far, signing both Philippe Senderos and Joe Cole on a pair of free transfers, as well as Fulham’s Kieran Richardson for nominal fee, with Dawson and 23-year-old Holtby representing more impressive upgrades.
Tottenham meanwhile made their first moves of the summer on Wednesday, bringing in Swansea duo Ben Davies and Michel Vorm, with striker Wilfried Bony said to be another top target for Pochettino, despite his steep £20 million-plus price tag.
Southampton’s Morgan Schneiderlin could also be linking up with his former manager in North London, having been reported to favour a move to Spurs over rivals Arsenal, though whether the Frenchman would be joined by fellow World Cup veteran Vlaar is a far off scenario at this point.
Considering Dawson’s regular presence in the lineup over the years, as well as Holtby’ still-promising potential, the move for the 31-times capped international certainly seems a pricey one for Tottenham, though it may be necessary if they are so desperate to beat off other interested clubs.