Hamburg captain Rafael van der Vaart has hinted that he could move to Premier League side Queens Park Rangers this summer.
The 31-year-old has one year left on his contract and it is understood that Hamburg are keen on selling the Dutch international now rather than to see him leave on a free next summer.
Van der Vaart’s second spell at HSV has been less than satisfactory since arriving from Tottenham Hotspur in a £10m deal back in August 2012, with the cash strapped club eager to get the midfielder who earns €3.5m a year of their wage bill.
It is understood that Harry Redknapp, who originally signed Van der Vaart from Real Madrid during his time as Tottenham manager in 2010, is keen on adding firepower to his midfield following QPR’s promotion to the Premier League, and has highlighted the Dutchman as a possible signing.
However, it seems that Van der Vaart, who has mustered over 200 appearances for Hamburg during his five years at the club, is keen on proving his worth at the Bundesliga outfit following two dismal seasons, rather than to seek a move, but admits that anything can happen in football.
Wait and see
He told Bild.de: “I have to wait to see what Hamburg wants. I have always said that I want to stay. I am presuming that I am going be staying here. But I only have one year left on my contract. There might be a possibility that the club wants to sell me.
The 31-year-old arguably enjoyed the best time of his career during his two year spell in north London under the watchful eye of Redknapp, with the Dutchman relishing another opportunity to link up with the 67-year-old, but so far has yet to hear anything from his former mentor.
He said: “We had a great relationship at Tottenham, he is a top manager. In one year at the club I scored 12 goals, and in the other 13. However, he is yet to ring me. Since then there has been very little contact made. You just don’t know what is going to happen in football.”
Indeed, the majority of people associated with Hamburg including both fans and the club’s hierarchy alike would like to see the back of a man who nearly cost them a place in the current Bundesliga campaign, having survived relegation by the skin of their teeth last May.
Chief club investor Klaus-Michel Kϋhne even went to the extent of stating that the club should do everything in their power to move van der Vaart on after a string of poor performances and off the field rants led to HSV becoming a laughing stock.
Despite widespread criticism and reports suggesting that his position at the club has become unattainable, Van der Vaart has his eyes fully set on the new Bundesliga season, and is raring to go after being given time relax and unwind following twelve months of footballing hell.
He said: “I have had a great holiday, and I am fresh. When you feel good in the head then you have the energy, even when the training isn’t fun. Everything is going well, and I hope it continues.”
The 31-year-old also believes that he can convert this unadulterated amount of raw and buoyant energy into match-winning performances as he hopes to find his old form at the club.
He said: “I am only playing for myself. I want to become an asset for the club. If I keep fit and my head is free then I believe that I will achieve many more highpoints at Hamburg.”