United face competition for Dutch ace

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Manchester United could face competition from Sampdoria for the signing of Rafael van der Vaart, according to Spanish newspaper Sport.

United have been trailing the Dutch midfielder this summer but the Italian side are said to be willing to pay up to 10 million euros (£8 million) for van der Vaart.

The fee Madrid will demand, though, will work in Sir Alex Ferguson’s favour as it is likely van der Vaart will command a fee of at least double what Sampdoria are willing to pay.

Real signed the former Hamburg player for 13 million euros and, according to the newspaper van der Vaart is on 3.2 million euros per year (around £50,000 per week), another figure which could be out of Sampdoria’s reach.

United see van der Vaart as the perfect replacement for Paul Scholes when he decides to hang up his boots but rivals Man City could trump any bid for him.

Van der Vaart, however, has stated he has no intention of leaving the Bernabeu this summer, saying: “Why should I go?

“My last season was quite good and there is no doubt that I can perform at this club. They are laying the foundations of a long-term project so that Madrid is at the top for a long time, which is where they belong.”

The appointment of Jose Mourinho will also be a big factor in van der Vaart’s decision as he has been hired to win Real the Champions League next season.

However, ‘The Special One’ is reportedly planning a clear out with Man City linked with Gonzalo Higuain and Fernando Gago and van der Vaart could well be on the same list.

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