Ron Vlaar reaches agreement with Aston Villa

Ron Vlaar agreed the terms of a three-year contract with Aston Villa on Friday. The defender will have a medical in Birmingham on Monday. Aston Villa is prepared to pay the limited sum to buy Vlaar out of his Feyenoord contract. It means that Vlaar will not travel to Ukraine on Sunday with the rest of the Feyenoord squad and will not be available for selection against Dynamo Kyiv in the third preliminary round of the Champions League. He will not train with the squad at the weekend either.

‘We knew that Ron had set his heart on a move abroad, in this case to a famous Premier League club, after seven years at Feyenoord,’ said technical director Martin van Geel. ‘As a consequence of the capricious way Aston Villa have acted it was common knowledge that Vlaar had a limited compensation clause in his contract. Now that Ron has reached agreement with Aston Villa the club has also confirmed that it wishes to pay the maximum amount we can ask for him. So in business terms we just have to accept that.’

Van Geel admitted that Vlaar's departure is a huge loss for Feyenoord. ‘Ron was one of the most important players at this club. He was the captain and a true leader, who had a fantastic season least season. His experience and his leadership will be missed at Feyenoord. Ron has given his heart and soul for our club for seven long years, so we are very happy for him. But it's still a great pity of course.’

Van Geel is not at all happy about the timing of the transfer, two days before Feyenoord head off for Ukraine for the important game against Dynamo Kyiv. ‘The way Aston Villa has acted this past weeks has been very unsettling. The timing was not favourable considering our imminent game either. In that respect, we would have preferred to have this transfer done and dusted a week earlier.’

For Vlaar the move to the Premier League is a dream come true. ‘It's strange to think I'm leaving Feyenoord, but it's a dream for me to move to the Premier League. We started discussions again today and we talked things through. No punches were pulled and apologies were tendered on behalf of Aston Villa for how they have handled themselves. I can imagine the fans are a little less happy with me at the moment, but i hope they will not begrudge me this transfer to the Premier League.’

‘It will be a wrench for me to leave Feyenoord, because this club is where my heart is,’ said Vlaar. ‘I have experienced so much at this club, highs and lows. The absolute high point for me was last season, when we got second place in the league and I ended up going to the Euros.’

Vlaar finished by thanking all the fans for their unconditional support during his time at the club. ‘I have had a wonderful time at Feyenoord and I have always had a huge amount of support from the fans. I will always have deep feelings for Feyenoord. I will certainly continue to come back to De Kuip.’


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