Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert has claimed that key duo Ron Vlaar and Fabian Delph will not be leavingthe club in January, despite the duos contracts expiring at the end of the season.
Defender Vlaar has been strongly linked with a move to Manchester United and Arsenal, with his agent suggesting the player is keen to move to a bigger club, while Delph has his week been linked with a move to Liverpool.
Despite the fact the duo’s contract status means they are allowed to negotiate a contract with another club as soon as the clock passes 12pm on December the 31st, and can then leave the club for nothing in the summer, Lambert is not prepared to sell.
He said, “The way January works, if somebody’s worth something you may as well put another 15 zeros on the end of it. The price gets inflated. Even if anybody came in, you would never let them go cheap or anything like that. Would any amount of money tempt me? No.
“They’ll not go anywhere in January. It’s my say. Was that my recommendation to the owner Randy Lerner? Absolutely.”
Part of the process of inflating a player’s value is to insist the player is not for sale, and this may just the start of Villa’s efforts to get as much as possible for the two players.
And if past sales are anything to go by, they are good at it. Ashley Young was in the last year of his contract at Villa when they sold him to United for £17 million, a value you’d be unlikely to get for Young with five years on his contract nowadays.
That said, it is not thought that Villa have totally given up on convincing the players to stay just yet.