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Manchester United reportedly prepared to severely underbid for Vlaar

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Manchester United are apparently set to make a bid for Aston Villa captain and Netherlands international Ron Vlaar. Should Villa fans worry?

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There will be two stories that you're going to get tired of in this January transfer window: Fabian Delph going anywhere, and Ron Vlaar's forever-rumoured exodus to Manchester United. Let's do number two today, shall we? According to a report in the Daily Star, Louis van Gaal's side are apparently prepared to make a £1.5 million bid for Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar. I'll get this out of the way immediately: I wouldn't be worried about anything happening at this juncture, both because I'm not sure I believe the report and because that sum of money is far too low for Villa to act on. Let's tackle each of those issues in order.

The reporter paints in pretty broad strokes, as is typical at this time of year, but he doesn't seem to know the situation at Villa very well. He writes that "Vlaar cost Villa almost £4m when they signed him from Feyenoord three years ago and they are adequately covered in central defence now." Sure, we're adequately covered if you ignore the fact that 60% of our starting-capable central defenders are injured (80% if Ciaran Clark's minor back issues are still a problem). And the entire rationale for Vlaar headed to United is as injury cover. If United are so desperate to add depth, why would Villa be desperate to do the exact opposite when they're facing pretty much the same situation?

Well, they'd be okay with it if the money were right. Vlaar is, after all, out of contract this summer. There have been reports of his signing a pre-contract with Napoli, but regardless of what happens I think everyone at Villa is resigned to him leaving. So whether it happens now or in May shouldn't make too much of a difference (again, depending on the injury situation). But United are filthy rich and this is January. To most teams, Vlaar would probably be worth £1.5 million right now. But that's the funny thing about the situation. There's no compelling reason for Villa to sell.

£1.5 million isn't all that much, and United can certainly afford more. Villa will probably sell if they get the right price, but in the absence of a good reason to do so, Vlaar will stick around. £1.5 million isn't that right price. Villa really ought to be holding out for something in the (admittedly absurd) £3-4 million range. Even if they won't do that, I can't imagine this offer (if it exists) would be enough to pry Vlaar away.

No need to worry, yet.