Paul Lambert expecting to keep Ron Vlaar at Villa Park

Ron Vlaar of Aston Villa runs with the ball during the pre season friendly match between Aston Villa and Parma at Villa Park on August 9, 2014
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Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says that Ron Vlaar is staying at Villa Park amid speculation linking him to Southampton.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert is confident that he can retain the services of defender Ron Vlaar beyond the summer.

The Dutchman returned from the World Cup in Brazil with a heightened reputation after helping the Netherlands to a third-place finish in the tournament.

Southampton boss Ronald Koeman has reportedly identified the 29-year-old as an ideal replacement for Dejan Lovren, but Lambert expects that his skipper - whose contract expires next summer - will stay at Villa Park.

"To be fair to Ron, he has not come to us or anything," he told reporters.

"We have had little chats here and there, but I think his main concern was getting back after the World Cup, getting fit and hopefully being ready for Saturday.

"That is where he has been. I have a good rapport with Ron, so I don't have any problem with that whatsoever."

Villa kick off their Premier League campaign with a trip to Stoke City on Saturday.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane look on during the pre-season friendly match between Mansfield and Aston Villa at the One Call Stadium on July 17, 2014
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