Man United facing transfer competition from Premier League rivals for international defender

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A trio of Premier League sides are reportedly interested in Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar, who has also been identified as a  transfer target for Manchester United in recent months.

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The 30-year-old stopper has come of the end of his contract at Villa Park, and according to the Daily Mail, looks likely to leave the club at the beginning of July.

The defender—who can call upon both Premier League and considerable international experience—would then enter the market as a free agent.

It appears as though Villa are already making plans for a post-Vlaar future, with the club having snared Manchester City defender Micah Richards—another player to have come to the end of his contract—with the reported intention of playing him as a centre-back [Daily Mail].

Vlaar has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United in recent weeks and months [Metro].

Not only was the centre-back a key figure for Louis van Gaal during his time as Netherlands head coach—impressing, notably, during the 2014 World Cup—he would also bring experience, resiliency and a physical presence to the Red Devils’ backline.

It is little secret that United are after defensive reinforcements this summer; Mats Hummels [Metro] and Nicolas Otamendi [Daily Mail] have both been linked with a move to Old Trafford, while United made a concrete offer for Sergio Ramos on Thursday [Daily Mail].

However, despite being heavily linked with a reunion with van Gaal, Vlaar is set to field several offers for his services, according to the Daily Mail.

Newcastle United, Sunderland and Southampton have all been named as potential suitors, and the last of these three, in particular, would make sense. The club are run by another of Vlaar’s compatriots, Ronald Koeman, and could offer the defender a return to European football, having qualified for next year’s Europa League.

There is also interest from Istanbul, where Turkish giants Besiktas are also believed to be keen on the experienced stopper—again via the Daily Mail.

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