As Ron Vlaar’s Aston Villa contract enters the twilight zone, interest in the Dutch centre-half mounts.
Arsenal and Manchester United are the fat cats closest to home alleged to have registered their affection for the former Feyenoord man, according to the Daily Express, but who is in greater need of the centre half?
The Red Devils’ defensive woes are no secret, with their 5-3 disasterpiece at Leicester last time out the clearest indicator yet that they are desperate for additions at the back.
Jonny Evans joined Phil Jones in the sick bay after said defeat and, with Tyler Blackett now suspended, Chris Smalling and Premier League noob Marcus Rojo are the only fit central defenders available to Louis van Gaal at present.
Jones, Smalling and Blackett are all learning the craft and what they need is a world-class, senior stopper to school them, tutors of Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand’s calibre.
Concrete Ron may have looked first rate up until the penalty shootout of the World Cup semi-final against Argentina, but he isn’t the erudite centre-back Man Utd require to marshal their backline.
Up until the summer’s samba jamboree, it’s hard to envisage the planet’s premier outfits courting the Villa skipper, which suggests he’d surely take an ancillary part with a leading light if the opportunity came.
Were he to sign for Arsenal, an understudy is the best he could hope to be, with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker nailed on to start when fit.
But with only makeshift centre-half Calum Chambers providing cover for the incumbent pair, it’s unlikely that he would be starved of first-team opportunities should he make the January switch to the Emirates.
Their dearth of options in this department is largely responsible for the Gunners’ 9/1 outsider offering to win the title this term, but timely signings of Vlaar’s experience would bring this down.