Defender Ron Vlaar out six weeks, hurting Aston Villa and his transfer suitors

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Aston Villa captain Ron Vlaar’s injury-hampered season has taken another step back, and now the clubs that wanted to buy him in January will suffer as well.

Vlaar, 29, played just 15 minutes of Villa’s 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on New Year’s Day, and tests confirm he’ll be out for six weeks with a knee injury.

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That will put a crimp in the plans of teams that’ve been linked with a January move for the Dutch defender, like Manchester United, as well as the transfer kitty of Paul Lambert. Vlaar is out of contract this summer and has so far resisted Aston Villa’s overtures for a new deal.

From the BBC:

In November, Lambert insisted the club had begun negotiations to extend Vlaar’s contract but that “the message from his agent was thanks but no thanks”.

It’s also a pretty big loss for Villa’s survival push. The Villans are five points ahead of the drop zone before Saturday’s match at Leicester City and a visit from Liverpool the following Match Day.