Liverpool and Arsenal alerted to availability of Dutch ace

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Rafael van der Vaart is being touted with a transfer away from Real Madrid, and Liverpool and Arsenal have been linked with moves for the Dutchman.

Real today announced the signing of Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil from Werder Bremen, and Spanish newspaper AS reports that this could signal the end of van der Vaart's Bernabeu career.

The 27-year-old midfielder - along with Ozil - will have to compete against Kaka, Esteban Granero, and Sergio Canales for a starting berth in the famous white jersey, and suggestions in Spain say he could reluctantly leave Madrid.

Van der Vaart began his career with Ajax before moving to Germany in 2005. He then transferred to Real three years later for a fee in the region of €13 million, but has been unable to cement a place on the first team.

Liverpool and Arsenal have both reportedly expressed an interest in the former Hamburg man in the past, but the Gunners appear to have a more realistic chance of gaining his signature after the Merseysiders snapped up Joe Cole.

However, Arsene Wenger has made signing a new goalkeeper his number one priority and has been alerted to the availability of Shay Given after Roberto Mancini said the Manchester City custodian was free to leave Eastlands if he requested a move.

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