Ron Vlaar: I've heard nothing from Manchester United

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Ron Vlaar insists he's had no contact with Manchester United about a prospective transfer, and is yet to receive any formal offer that would entice him away from Aston Villa, despite additional reports linking the defender with Liverpool and Arsenal.

The 29-year-old has been the subject of intense transfer speculation ever since last summer's World Cup, during which time the Holland international impressed en route to the semi-finals of the tournament in Brazil.

Under the tutelage of Louis van Gaal, Vlaar excelled in the middle of a back three, prompting suggestions he could follow his compatriot to Old Trafford in time for the start of the 2014/15 campaign.

A transfer never transpired, but with the Red Devils boss still on the lookout for defensive reinforcements the centre-back's name has been mentioned again as a possible option in the mid-season window.

"There was interest [after the World Cup]," confirmed Vlaar in an interview with the Algemeen Dagblad. "But never from the calibre of clubs I would leave Aston Villa for.

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"Manchester United? I've never heard anything from them. If a club had been seriously interested I would have noticed. That hasn't been the case."

According to The Express, Arsene Wenger and Brendan Rodgers have both been monitoring Vlaar closely as well, as they consider cut-price moves for the Dutchman at the turn of the year.

Arsenal are yet to fill the void left by Thomas Vermaelen when he quit the Emirates Stadium for Barcelona back in August, while Liverpool have looked even more fragile at the back than they did last season, and the Reds boss knows that he needs to bring in another defender if the Anfield club are to have any chance of finishing in the top four this term.

Uncertain future

With just over six months remaining on his current £25,000-a-week contract, Villa know they are at risk of losing Vlaar on a free transfer at the end of the season. However, Paul Lambert is determined to retain the player's services for the rest of the campaign, and still holds hopes of convincing him to sign a new deal.

That will surely depend on what offers present themselves to Vlaar in 2015, as he will be free to speak to foreign clubs as soon as the transfer window reopens. Premier League suitors will have to wait until next summer, though, so the Midlands club still have plenty of time to secure the stand-in skipper's long-term future.

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Manchester United
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