Betis president Juan Carlos Ollero says talks to bring Netherlands star Rafael Van der Vaart to the newly promoted La Liga club are “very advanced.” Hamburg attacking midfielder and former Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart is set to agree a move to Real Betis in the coming days, after the club’s president Juan Carlos Ollero told Radio MarcaSevilla that a switch was close.
Attacking midfielder Van der Vaart, 32, has spent the last three seasons at Hamburg, having previously played for Tottenham Hotspur, Real Madrid and Ajax, and also winning over 100 caps for his country and playing at three World Cups and three European Championships.
Van der Vaart was not short of offers this summer, with Sunderlandsaid to be interested and Ajax’scoach and director, Frank de Boerand Marc Overmars, openly inviting the Dutchman back to his home land and the club he joined when he was 10 and spent 12 years with.
Earlier this year in an interview, the midfielder admitted, “I told my grandfather that if I had the chance, I would finish my career near him at Cadiz.”
Ollero told the reporter that his club were very interested in signing such a big name player, and talks on a deal were going well.“The Germans are very serious people and if they have said it it’s because they are well-informed,” said Juan Carlos Ollero. “The negotiation with Van der Vaart is very advanced. He is a footballer with a proven track record, with an important role in his clubs. With character, he’s competitive.”
The veteran, whose mother hails from Cadiz, had been offered to Andalucian clubs Malaga and Betis as he fancies a move to southern Spain with his Hamburg contract having ended. It has also been running the story in recent days that a move and a three-year-deal is on the cards, with the playmaker’s contract at Die Rothosen set to expire this summer.
Van der Vaart is something of an icon at Spurs despite having only played there for two seasons. His arrival from Real Madrid as a former Galactico excited fans and signaled a brief period where the North Londoners were Champions League competitors. The 32-year-old played 78 times for the White Hart Lane outfit, scoring 28 goals. It was arguably some of the best football of his career in the major leagues.
Betis look to be best placed, with the Sevilla-based club aiming to reinforce their squad on their return to the top flight, having easily won the Segunda Division last term under returning coachPepe Mel.