Have Manchester United admitted that they aren't interested in Ron Vlaar?

Old Trafford 3

Ed Woodward says that Manchester United won't be making any 'stop-gap' signings.

Manchester United's season is slowly improving, with the recent 1-0 win over Crystal Palace taking them to within two points of a top four place.

Despite spending around £150m on new additions this summer, many had expected manager Louis van Gaal to splash the cash again in the January transfer window.

With injuries to Jonny Evans, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, United are staggeringly without their top three centre backs, and van Gaal was expected to address this in the New Year.

However, United executive vice chairman Ed Woodward said that United are unlikely to make many moves in the January transfer window, particularly acknowledging that there would be no 'stop gap' signings.

"We’re not looking to enter the market for short-term fixes," Woodward said. "However, we have targets that we are looking at for next summer and should any of those become available in January, which is rare, we will consider acting. But in terms of expectations we all need to recognise that’s a low probability."

One of the rumoured targets was Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar. The 29-year-old impressed under van Gaal for the Netherlands at this summer's World Cup in Brazil, and with his contract expiring at Villa Park in 2015, United were believed to be at the forefront of the chase for his signature.

However, Vlaar has never really been considered as the calibre of player that United should be targeting, particularly after previous links with Gerard Pique, Mats Hummels and Mehdi Benatia.

Approaching his 30th birthday, Vlaar would surely fall into the bracket of "short term fix" for United, and despite impressing with Villa and the Netherlands this year, today's comments are the biggest indication yet that United will avoid signing Vlaar and instead push for a big summer addition.

That's big for Arsenal and Southampton, two other clubs linked with signing the uncompromising centre back, but unless Woodward was bluffing, it would be a shock to see Vlaar in the red of United any time soon.

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