Arsenal hope to land Dutch international before deadline

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Arsenal continue to be linked with Dutch international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart.

The 27-year-old Real Madrid star has been heavily linked with an exit from the Santiago Bernabeu following the arrival of ‘Special One’ Jose Mourinho, and Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger is one manager thought to be monitoring the situation.

Madrid’s sporting director, Miguel Pardeza, hinted that non-Spanish players outside the first team could be sold to balance the books, and whilst Van der Vaart has stressed a desire to stay and fight for his place it appears the player could be heading for the exit door.

Van der Vaart rose to prominence after making his debut for Dutch giants Ajax as a teenager in 2000. The attacking midfielder was linked with a string of high-profile European clubs before joining Bundesliga side Hamburg in 2005.

The €5.5 million move was questioned in media circles, with the Dutchman expected to move to either the Premier League, Serie ‘A’ or La Liga. A move to Spain would come three years later, with Van der Vaart joining Los Blancos for a fee in the region of €13 million.

After reduced playing time last season and the arrival of Mesut Ozil from Werder Bremen, Van der Vaart’s opportunities are set to be limited.

The Metro reports that Wenger, a known admirer of the Dutchman, is still keen on a summer move for Van der Vaart as the end of the transfer window draws ever closer. Robin van Persie is also thought to have recommended the player to his boss, with the north London club now considering an £8 million bid.

Spurs, Manchester United, Liverpool and Juventus have all previously been linked with the player, but German side Schalke are thought to be one of the main contenders to land the player after the player admitted to receiving rave reviews from former colleague Raul.

“I have had excellent feedback about the club from Raul."

Emirates chief Wenger still holds hope of completing a deal for the player, and could use Van Persie in any negotiations involving the player before the end of the month.

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