Manchester United will have to fork over £12 million in order to prise Ron Vlaar from Aston Villa in the winter transfer window, according to a report from ESPN FC.
Vlaar’s Villa future has been the subject of much speculation following his starring performances for Louis van Gaal’s Netherlands side at the World Cup, with the centre-back since linked to a host of top European clubs.
With Juventus, Lazio, Roma, Southampton, Tottenham Hotspur and front-runners United all reported to have been pursuing his signature over the summer, Villa somehow managed to hold onto their star captain past the transfer deadline, but the battle to keep him in a claret and blue shirt remains far from over.
Having entered the final season of his contract, the two sides are still to enter serious negotiations over a renewal, and the latest suggestions are that even a proposed £50,000-per-week deal won’t be enough to keep him at Villa Park.
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With United in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, Van Gaal remains keen to reunite with Vlaar, and is reported to be preparing a bid as soon as the coming transfer window, in order to beat rival summer interest to the punch.
Vlaar himself is understood to be eager to make the move to Old Trafford but, while the risk of losing him for nothing in the summer could force Villa’s hand, the midlands outfit still have some negotiating power.
For one, the club are well aware of Van Gaal’s intense interest in their skipper, and also recognise that a lack of alternative top-level defenders on the market warrants a more significant asking price.
No United approach is said to have been made at this point but, with the club eager to add veteran leadership to the backline following the summer departures of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Patrice Evra, Vlaar remains the most feasible option.