Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar has denied that he is on the verge of joining Louis van Gaal's high-flying Manchester United, according to the Daily Express.
The Dutchman, who played under Van Gaal at international level for the Netherlands and was part of the side that reached the semi-finals of the World Cup in the summer, is reportedly keen to leave Paul Lambert's team given the club's current fight against relegation.
United are keen to make defensive additions having failed to replace Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic in the summer, and could make a move for Vlaar in order to bolster their chances of winning the Premier League title.
Mats Hummels and Diego Godin of Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid are understood to be Van Gaal's top two transfer targets, but any move may have to wait until the summer with both clubs unlikely to sanction a sale midway through the season.
Vidic himself has been linked with a sensational return to Old Trafford, but the club are keen to move forwards and may opt against re-signing the 33-year-old.
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Speaking to Algemeen Dagblad, Vlaar confirmed that whilst he was the subject of much interest in the last transfer window, nobody gave him a proposition enticing enough to leave Villa Park.
"There was interest [after the World Cup], but never from the calibre of clubs I would leave Aston Villa for," he said.
"Manchester United? I've never heard anything from them.If a club had been seriously interested I would have noticed.
"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."
Despite Van Gaal having not yet made an attempt to prise him away from the Midlands, that is not to say he will be a Villa player for the long-term. Arsenal are also monitoring the situation given the current struggles of Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny but, like United, may wait until the end of the season to try and convince Hummels to sign on at the Emirates Stadium instead.
His contract expires in the summer and, unless things change, the Dutch defender looks destined to be plying his trade elsewhere next season.