Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has reacted angrily to comments made by Ronald Koeman concerning a potential transfer of Ron Vlaar’s to Southampton, reports the Guardian. The Saints manager has said that he would ‘really like’ to have Vlaar in his Southampton team, and Lambert has taken offence at his Premier League opponent going public with his opinions.
Vlaar has been managed by Koeman before during his spell at Feyenoord, and has seen his personal profile rapidly increase this summer following a string of good performances at the World Cup. As he is entering into the last year of his current contract at Villa Park, the Dutchman has become a sought-after player in the transfer market, although Villa are still hoping to offer him fresh terms enticing enough to persuade Vlaar to stay.
However, Southampton are also interested in bringing in the Dutchman, as a direct replacement for Dejan Lovren. The Croatian left Saint Mary’s at an earlier point in the summer to join Liverpool, and Koeman would like another centre-back to step into the vacant spot. Although the summer has been dominated by a Southampton exodus on the south coast, the new manager has also been busily building a new-look starting XI.
Lambert does not appear to appreciate the Southampton manager’s latest comments, however, which could damage the prospects of a deal being reached between the two clubs for Vlaar. ‘I think he is disrespecting when talking about other team’s players when they are still their players,’ Lambert said of Koeman, ‘I think that’s wrong.’