Arsenal & Manchester United-linked Premier League duo linked with cut-price exits

Aston Villa duo Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph are being linked with cut-price January moves.

Three wins from the first four games feels like a long, long time ago now for Aston Villa. Even after hitting a tough run of games in Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Everton, Paul Lambert's side managed to lose 2-0 to lowly Queens Park Rangers last Monday.

That result has left Villa just two points above the drop zone, and their decision to extend Lambert's contract until 2018 looks ill-advised now, with Villa not far away from being two months without scoring a Premier League goal.

It's a tough time for Villa, but it could be about to get worse in the January transfer window as top sides begin to circle for their top players.

Arsenal are believed to be interested in a deal to sign midfielder Fabian Delph in January. The 24-year-old has always shown promise since his days at Leeds United, but it's only over the last 12 months where he has shown what he can do, earning caps for England in the process.

Additionally, Manchester United have been heavily linked with a January move to sign centre back Ron Vlaar. The 29-year-old played a starring role under United boss Louis van Gaal for the Netherlands at this summer's World Cup, and with United needing a tough, dominant centre back, Vlaar is allegedly on their radar.

The problem for Villa is that both players are out of contract next summer, leaving them vulnerable to losing them in January - and the Daily Mirror believe that's exactly what could happen.

They speculate that both Delph and Vlaar will refuse to sign new deals given Villa's recent struggles, and they may be sold in cut-price deals to avoid losing them for free next summer.

If that's the case, then expect Arsenal and United to be pursuing Delph and Vlaar in the New Year in the hope of landing a bargain - and leaving Lambert with huge holes to fill in his team.

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