Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was reserved when asked about the future of captain Ron Vlaar on Thursday, but conceded that the 29-year-old’s contract status has the club in a difficult situation.
Vlaar’s Villa future has been the subject of much speculation following his impressive 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.
Villa somehow managed to hold onto their star skipper past the transfer deadline, despite reported interest from the likes of Arsenal Juventus, Lazio, Manchester United, Roma, Southampton and Tottenham Hotspur, but the battle to keep him in a claret and blue shirt remains far from over.
Having entered the final season of his contract, negotiations over a new deal have failed to get off the ground, and latest reports claim that both Arsenal and United are preparing cut-price bids for the veteran come the winter transfer window.
Lambert wouldn’t be drawn on specific interest in Vlaar, but did admit that the Dutchman’s future at Villa Park is up in the air at this point.
“Anyone who’s in their last year has the right to look at other things,” he told Sky Sport News HQ.
“It’s not that we’d have to consider [a bid] but we’ll let it run its course. When you’re in your last year, it changes things.”
With United in desperate need of defensive reinforcements, Van Gaal is said to be keen to reunite with Vlaar at Old Trafford, while it’s also claimed that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger sees the 31-times capped international as the ideal replacement for the departed Thomas Vermaelen.
With a £6 million fee being suggested, Lambert’s somewhat ominous comments suggest that Villa supporters should start preparing for the fan favourite’s departure.