Ron Vlaar
Vlaar is currently on the last year of his Aston Villa contractReuters

Manchester United will have to reportedly pay £12 million if they want to sign Aston Villa defender Ron Vlaar in January.

The 29-year-old is being targeted by Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal, having seen the defender play a key role for Netherlands in the 2014 World Cup.

It is also believed that Vlaar himself is eager to team up with the former Netherlands boss at Old Trafford, with there being reports of the 29-year-old already agreeing personal terms with Manchester United.

Although the Dutch defender, who joined Aston Villa from Feyenoord for an undisclosed transfer fee in the summer of 2012, is currently on the last year of his contract and would be available on a free transfer nest summer, the Villans are reportedly demanding £12 million for the transfer to go through in January.

Villa, who know that Manchester United are easily capable of spending £12 million, having spent a fortune on transfers this summer, are looking to take advantage of the fact that the Red Devils are desperately in need of a central defender.

Following the departures of Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Partice Evra to Inter Milan, Queens Park Rangers and Juventus this summer, United have struggled at the back, with them having to rely on the inexperienced Tyler Blackett.

Despite Manchester United also being linked with Borussia Dortmund's Mats Hummels, van Gaal will be more interested in signing Vlaar, as the Dutch defender is more familiar with the former Barcelona's boss' style of play and philosophy, having already worked with him in the Netherlands national team.

Meanwhile, Manchester United defender Rafael insists that his side can still win the English Premier League title despite his side currently being eight points behind leaders Chelsea.

The Red Devils, after finishing in seventh place under David Moyes last season, did not have to greatest of starts to the new 2014/15 Premier League campaign, failing to record a win in their opening three fixtures.

However, two successive wins over West Ham and Everton have seen United rise to the fourth position in the Premier League.

Although United are still a long way behind leaders Chelsea, the Brazilian right-back insists that his side have a "chance to win the title."

"Everything takes time but if we start to understand the way of playing like we are doing and the results are positive and everything starts to run smoothly, then for sure we have the chance to win the title," Rafael told Sky Sports.