Ron Vlaar
Ron Vlaar\'s agent has denied opening talks with Aston Villa over a new contract for the defender Getty

Manchester United and Arsenal have been put on high alert after Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar's agent revealed that they had not opened talks about renewing the Dutchman's contract.

The Netherlands international is on the final year of his contract, and is yet to pen a new deal despite interest from the Premier League big guns. Louis van Gaal and Arsene Wenger are on the lookout for defensive reinforcements and could launch a bid for the defender during the January transfer window.

If the Villa centre-back refuses to sign a new deal, the midlands club might be tempted to cash in on the player rather than lose him on a free next summer. But, Vlaar had indicated earlier in the month that he had spoken to manager Paul Lambert about signing a new deal, which his agent Arnold Oosterveer has now denied.

"We have not spoken to Aston Villa, the club have not requested talks with us. The ball is with Aston Villa. Ron is in a situation which is not unfavourable. We are in no hurry," Oosterveer said, as quoted by the Daily Mail.

Vlaar's agent refused to get drawn into speculation regarding the interest from Arsenal and United, but admitted that his client is ambitious and that this could be his big break to make it into a big club.

"I don't want to respond [to rumours about Arsenal and Manchester United], but the natural break for Ron is now and it's the time to take a nice step. He is ambitious."

Oosterveer revealed that Southampton were interested in signing the Villa defender last summer, but the player rejected the move, thinking that it would not be a step up from his current situation, but it could have been as the Saints currently find themselves just behind Premier League leaders Chelsea in second place.

"Last summer, Southampton were interested in Ron. But we asked ourselves whether that club would be a step forward compared to Aston Villa. Now that club is suddenly second, so things can happen quickly," the Dutch defender's agent added.