Aston Villa’s solid start to the season – three wins and one draw – has come crashing down with three successive losses and things could be about to get worse.
Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph, two of the outstanding performers at Villa Park, are said to be on Manchester United’s radar, with the Old Trafford club considering a January bid for the duo.
United continue to be linked with defensive reinforcements and further midfield recruits but, having already spent in excess of £150m in the summer, manager Louis van Gaal could be forced to shop closer to home to save funds.
This has seen Vlaar, who was heavily linked with an Old Trafford switch in the summer after impressing for Holland under Van Gaal at the World Cup, emerge yet again as a top target at centre back.
Delph, who has seen his recent form rewarded with an England call up, could also be on the move as United seek cheaper alternatives to the likes of Fiorentina’s Juan Cuadrado.
Both Vlaar and Delph are out of contract in the summer and this could force Villa’s hand, with the club likely to prefer a January fee in the region of £20m over watching either player leave for free at the end of the current campaign.
United midfielder Tom Cleverley is currently on loan at Villa Park and could be used as a makeweight to get any deal over the line.
United’s new recruits have gelled well in attack so far this season but despite the arrivals of Luke Shaw and Marcos Rojo and the progression of Tyler Blackett and Paddy McNair, the Red Devils have looked a little light at the back.
The presence of the experienced Vlaar would give United a much-needed boost in their pursuit for honours this term and could see the odds on a top four finish tumble.
Such a feat is now priced at 8/15 after United’s win over Everton lifted them to fourth in the table after a shaky start under Van Gaal.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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