Robben: Van der Vaart keen on Bayern

Bayern Munich winger Arjen Robben has revealed that compatriot Rafael van der Vaart - linked with Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United in the past year - wants to join him at the Allianz Arena.

The Dutch midfielder has been tipped to depart Real Madrid this summer despite featuring prominently for the Spanish giants in the absence of Kaka through injury.

And Robben insists that his fellow countryman would be keen on a move to join him at Bayern.

"Rafael told me that FC Bayern is a great club when we were playing together at Real Madrid," Robben told Kicker magazine.

"Rafa was also the one who advised me to come to Munich.

"He has told me that, if Bayern were to ask him to come, he would cycle to Munich just to get a contract here.

"He wanted to move to Munich (when he went to Real) so maybe it could still happen."

Van der Vaart already has experience of playing in the Bundesliga after his three years with Hamburg, and appears to be eager for a move back to Germany to hook up with the Champions League runners-up.

Speculation last summer and during the January transfer window suggested that the 27-year-old could move to the Premier League, with Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson and counterparts Arsene Wenger and Rafael Benitez all believed to be admirers of the Dutchman.

Old Trafford supremo Ferguson was reportedly weighing up a move for the ex-Ajax man to add additional flair to his side following the loss of Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid.

Similarly, Liverpool chief Benitez was thought to be keen to recruit him following the loss of Xabi Alonso - also to Real - with summer arrival Alberto Aquilani sidelined through injury.

However, a switch to England now looks less likely, with Van der Vaart’s apparent will to find pastures new in Germany.

The midfielder has been named in Bert van Marwijk’s final squad for the World Cup in South Africa, and could set about forging a permanent move away from the Bernabeu in the aftermath of the tournament.

By Joe Brewin

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