Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has stepped up his interest in Aston Villa’s Ron Vlaar, according to latest reports by the Metro, having insisted he would like to bring the 29-year-old defender to St Mary’s.
The Dutchman has been touted as the perfect replacement for former Southampton-man Dejan Lovren. The Croatian international has left a large void to fill following his big-money move to Liverpool.
Having already spoken of his admiration of the Villa skipper earlier this month, Koeman has now made official his desire to sign the 29-year-old.
‘Vlaar became one of the best Oranje defenders for us at Feyenoord,’ he said.
‘And since the last World Cup he became one of the best of the tournament.
‘He’s a perfect addition to every group and a real leader. I would really like to have him at Southampton.’
Vlaar made a remarkable impression during the summer World Cup, proving a defensive stalwart at the heart of an inexperienced Netherlands back four. His most notable performance came against Argentina, in which he kept Barcelona’s Lionel Messi at bay for the entirety of the match.
Having been part of a team that conceded over 60 goals in last season's Premier League, he absolutely bossed his opposition in Brazil and there is no doubt his value has skyrocketed following such displays on the greatest stage.
Villa manager Paul Lambert is uncertain whether his captain will stay with the club, but stressed he has received no bids for the defender and is 'totally at ease' about the situation.
Vlaar has one year left on his current Villa contract, and talks over a new one have not yet been opened.