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Sorry Manchester United, Southampton, QPR -- Ron Vlaar is off the table

Pete Norton

The latest speculation was that Ron Vlaar was going to Southampton, thanks to Liverpool stealing Dejan Lovren away. Prior to that it was Queens Park Rangers, who'd probably shower him with hundreds of thousands of pounds per week. And because Vlaar is Dutch, naturally he's been connected to joining Louis van Gaal at Manchester United, particularly since they have like two centerbacks on their roster.

Except now it's looking as though Vlaar isn't leaving Aston Villa. In fact, Paul Lambert is quite adamant that he's not for sale. Here's the direct quote from the boss courtesy of the Birmingham Mail:

"Ron has always said that he is really happy here — and has done nothing to suggest anything has changed.  None of this speculation is coming from him, or anyone connected with him. We aren’t selling. It is as simple as that."

Vlaar is on holiday after his exertions in Brazil, but Lambert insists that as soon as he reports for duty, they'll sit down and hammer out the details. However, it seems Lambert still needs to get the ok from Randy Lerner in order to offer Villa's captain a shiny new deal.

Thoughts? Does Lambert really mean that Vlaar is not for sale, or is this just a way of telling other sides that they need to increase their offer? And, perhaps more importantly -- will Lerner open up the coffers?

Because if there's no money to extend Vlaar, it may be best to let him go now, while he's probably overvalued and could at least give Villa a bit of money to spend.