Hamburg’s chief sporting director, Dietmar Beiersdorfer, has ended any speculation regarding the possible transfer of club captain Rafael van der Vaart by stating that the Dutchman is not for sale, according to Bild.
The Holland international who joined Hamburg from Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur in the summer of 2012 was originally put up for sale, with the three times Bundesliga champions keen to get the 31-year-old, who annually earns over £2 million in wages, off their books.
Getting rid of Van der Vaart
Manager, Mirko Slomka was also put under an intolerable amount of pressure to do all that he could to move the Dutchman on, with the majority of Hamburg’s hierarchy, including chief investor Klaus-Michel Kϋhne, insisting that he had no future at the club.
This comes after a season to forget for the Heemskerk-born player-maker who, with the rest of his Hamburg teammates, narrowly avoided an embarrassing and costly relegation to the second tier of German football for the first time in the club’s history.
Lack of interest
However, interest for the creative midfielder was far and few between with Premier League newboys, Queens Park Rangers being the only side to show an interest in the club’s former poster-boy.
Then came the sucker-punch which everyone close to Hamburg dreaded, as Slomka decided to reinstate Van der Vaart as the club’s captain ahead of the new Bundesliga season, a decision which, despite infuriating HSV fans, has delighted Beiersdorfer.
He told Bild: “I’m confident about Rafa. He is making a good impression. I am happy that he remains with us. Rafa is an exceptional player.”
Despite making a less than satisfactory impression as club captain last season, Beiersdorfer has stated that the two were able to hold positive talks with each other in the light of Hamburg’s upcoming Bundesliga season.
Van der Vaart has impressed
The 50-year-old has been nothing other than impressed with van der Vaart’s attitude to the new campaign, and believes that Hamburg are lucky to have a professional who on his day is impossible to play against.
He went on to say: “We were able to talk about everything, including some private things. I see things a lot clearer now.
“Rafa is going into the new season highly motivated, he is extremely proud to be to be named as captain again.
“He has worked so hard, and he is 100% fit both mentally and physically. In this kind of form he is impossible to replace, we would struggle without him.”
Although Beiersdorfer is visually thrilled about the prospect of Van der Vaart featuring for Hamburg in a Bundesliga season which Hamburg manager Slomka has defined as a new start, the 50-year-old has remained tip-lipped regarding any news of a contract extension for the Holland international.
The Dutchman has one year remaining on his three year contract, with the Bavarian-born sporting director admitting that any talk of an extension will have to wait until Hamburg return to winning ways in the Bundesliga.
He said: “We want to start the season promisingly. Everyone including Rafael has something to prove. We will talk about his future at a later date.”
Hamburg kick-off the new 2014-14 Bundesliga campaign away against league newboys FC Cologne on August 23, before welcoming FC Paderborn to the Imtech Arena a week later.