Football

Liverpool midfield target admits summer interest

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Liverpool target Rafael van der Vaart has been the subject of interest from a number of clubs this summer, claims the player's representatives.

The 27-year-old attacking midfielder is thought to be on the verge of a Real Madrid exit after the club signed Mesut Ozil this summer, and new Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson is thought to be keen on the Dutch international.

Van der Vaart was on the fringes at the Bernabeu last season, although increased involvement near the end of the season has given encouragement to the player that he can force his way into the first team picture under new manager Jose Mourinho.

"Nobody at Real Madrid has said that Rafael has to go. Last year the competition for places was similar and he ended up being first choice and he looks strong enough to repeat history," said agent Robert Geerling.

However, the club's sporting director made it clear that players outside the starting xi were not safe at Los Blancos. Non-Spanish players were singled out as particularly vulnerable, leading to interest in Van der Vaart from the Reds, Arsenal, Spurs and a string of other clubs across Europe.

"There are many teams interested in Rafael, what remains to be seen is whether they can convince him to leave the Bernabeu,” Geerling continued.

With Alberto Aquilani joining Juventus on loan and Javier Mascherano and Dirk Kuyt both linked with Anfield exits, the former Ajax midfielder would be seen as a replacement should either leave Merseyside for pastures new.

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Football
Premier League
Liverpool

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