Rafael van der Vaart keen on MLS move, will leave Hamburg this summer
Dutch international playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has confirmed he will leave Bundesliga outfit Hamburger SV this summer when his contract runs out and has left the door wide-open for a move to Major League Soccer.
[ RELATED: Van der Vaart to SKC? ]
Van der Vaart, 32, has already had discussions with Sporting Kansas City about a move to MLS, as their CEO Rob Heinemann revealed that productive talks occurred during the offseason with the former Real Madrid, Tottenham Hotspur and Ajax star reportedly offered a $4.8 million per year deal.
When asked about his next possible destination after this season, Van der Vaart was keen to focus on the final eight Bundesliga matches of the season as Hamburg aim to get out of the bottom three and avoid relegation to Germany’s second-flight. However, he did answer a question about moving to MLS.
“Everything’s open at the moment, but I can imagine playing in America,” Van der Vaart said. “I want to keep playing at a good level for a few years.”
Would Van der Vaart bring star power to MLS? Absolutely.
He has played in a World Cup final for the Netherlands, has 109 caps for the Oranje and oozes class on the ball and from set-piece situations. He would arrive in KC as a Designated Player and would undoubtedly be the main man in Peter Vermes’ side. Where would his possible arrival rank in the echelons of big-name DPs in MLS? Easily inside the top 10.
His style would suit Sporting KC and with the likes of Graham Zusi and Benny Feilhaber eager to get on the ball, adding Van der Vaart to the mix could make SKC one of the most attractive teams to watch in MLS. But would his arrival impact Zusi’s influence on SKC? Let’s wait and see if the transfer actually happens before we weight all of that up.
Having world-class midfielders such as Steven Gerrard, Kaka, Frank Lampard and potentially van der Vaart playing in MLS this summer would be incredible to witness.