Newcastle United are hoping to sign Ron Vlaar on a free transfer this summer - but they will need to hold off competition from four other clubs, including three Premier League rivals. The Aston Villa centre-back's deal expires on July 1st and, although Tim Sherwood is keen to keep him at the Birmingham club, Vlaar is also interesting the Magpies North-East rivals Sunderland - as well as Besiktas, West Ham United and Everton - meaning there will be a fierce battle for his signature. The Daily Mail state that Newcastle are hoping to tie up a deal for the 30-year-old this summer, with Vlaar available on a free transfer having let his contract run down. Villa have offered Vlaar a new deal but he is exploring options elsewhere - and he is exactly the sort of player the Magpies need. An experienced centre-back who has captained Villa for the last couple of seasons, Vlaar was part of Louis van Gaals Holland side who finished third at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. The 31-cap international also captained Villa to the FA Cup final last season - and he lifted the KNVB Cup with Feyenoord back in 2008. It is rare that such an experienced centre-back - Vlaar has amassed 218 career league appearances for AZ Alkmaar, Feyenoord and Villa - becomes available on a free transfer. With such heated competition for his signature Newcastle will need to offer a significant financial package to tempt Vlaar, which appears unlikely. This is an opportunity they should not let pass them by, however. For all the latest NUFC News, Views and Transfers make sure to followwhatculture.com/NUFC on Twitter and Facebook.