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Transfer rumour: Man Utd and Arsenal vie for Vlaar

Vlaar
The hardest footballer ever to wear a cardigan? Credit: PA

Manchester United want to use Aston Villa centre-back Ron 'Roncrete' Vlaar – who was very impressive for the Netherlands at the 2014 World Cup – to fill the leaky hole at the heart of their defence.

So do Arsenal, but Louis van Gaal knows Vlaar personally of course, so United are considered the red-hot favourites to seal the deal.

According to the Express, Villa have priced their captain at £12m.

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Everton consider Barkley for Villa clash

Barkley Everton
Ross Barkley could feature against Villa. Credit: PA

Everton manager Roberto Martinez has to assess whether Ross Barkley is fit enough to make his first appearance of the season against Aston Villa.

The England midfielder has been sidelined by a knee-ligament injury sustained on the eve of the season but returned to full training this week.

Martinez is also hopeful over defender Seamus Coleman (thigh) and midfielders Steven Pienaar (hip) and James McCarthy (thigh) but Kevin Mirallas (hamstring) is still out while defender John Stones is recovering from knee surgery

Provisional Everton squad: Howard, Hibbert, Coleman, Jagielka, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Besic, Gibson, Naismith, McGeady, Lukaku, Robles, Oviedo, Browning, Alcaraz, Atsu, Pienaar, Osman, Eto'o.

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Petrov back playing football

Former Aston Villa captain Stiliyan Petrov is back playing football with Solihull-based Wychall Wanderers over-35s.

Petrov was diagnosed with acute leukaemia in March 2012, with Villa then confirming in August that year that he was in remission.

It's a good laugh and they're competitive games.

It's just really nice to be out there playing a proper game.

I've played 90 minutes and my fitness is improving but I need to be patient.

As far as positions, you have to go where you're needed. Sometimes only 12 players are there.

– Stiliyan Petrov speaking to the Birmingham Mail
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