Manchester United are targeting Aston Villa and Netherlands defender Ron Vlaar.

Manchester United are looking at Ron Vlaar to add to their squad and solve their defensive crisis, according to reports

Van Gaal worked with Vlaar during his time as manager of the Dutch national team, and he selected the former Feyenoord and AZ Alkmaar player in all seven of the Netherlands’ World Cup matches last summer. Vlaar put on solid performances in the competition and was instrumental in the success the Dutch received. The player was in fact, linked with a move to Old Trafford in the summer itself, but Paul Lambert managed to keep hold of the prized asset.

Vlaar has been with Villa since August 2012 after joining the club in a £3.2m from Feyenoord. He took on the captain’s armband when Stiliyan Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia and had to end his professional playing career to undergo treatment.

The 29-year-old has also attracted attention from Premier League side Southampton as well as Arsenal, and manager Paul Lambert has accepted that he may be forced to sell the captain if the right offer is made. Southampton currently boast an impeccable defensive record and adding Vlaar to the side would ensure that they have enough options to maintain this record, and keep up the good work of the first 10 games. Arsenal on the other hand, have had a poor defense, which has been made worse through regular injuries. They conceded a 3 goal lead against Belgian minnows Anderlecht in the Champions League on Tuesday night and embarrassed themselves for being sloppy at the back again.

But Manchester United are the side which has been linked with the player the most, because of the Dutch connection between United boss van Gaal and the player. United’s latest defensive injury blow saw Marcos Rojo ruled out for up to three months with a dislocated shoulder. Chris Smalling, Luke Shaw, Phil Jones and Jonny Evans have all suffered from injuries this season and United need to ensure they have assembled some defensive reinforcements after the winter window closes.

THT Verdict- Likely

Vlaar’s contract is due to expire next summer and Villa have been trying to tie down the player to a new deal before the window opens. Vlaar would want to make a move to United as not always do you get to move to one of the biggest footballing institutions like Manchester United, especially when you’re 29. However, the battle for Vlaar might heat up as many clubs are monitoring his development. Moreover, Lambert would not like to lose his captain for a cut price and would want to get him to renew his contract. Still, the move looks likely considering Vlaar knows van Gaal well and the club in question is Manchester United.