Van der Vaart set for switch

Real Madrid midfielder Rafael Van de Vaart is set to leave the Bernabeu this summer, after being told he is not in new coach Manuel Pellegrini’s plans.

The Dutch international has made 32 league appearances - netting five times - since joining the Madridistas last summer.

However, following the expensive acquisitions of Kaka and Cristiano Ronaldo from AC Milan and Manchester United respectively, reports suggest Real are open to offers for Dutch quintet Wesley Sneijder, Van der Vaart, Arjen Robben, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Ruud van Nistelrooy in order to help balance the books.

Van der Vaart himself - who has been capped 68 times by his country - has been linked with a return to former clubs Hamburg and Ajax, as well as Chelsea, Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Aston Villa.

And a move now seems all-but assured for the 26-year-old, after revealing he is surplus to requirements in the Spanish capital.

“The coach has told me I will not play. It makes no sense for me to remain here,” he told Bild. While in De Telegraaf  he added: “Of course I am interested in HSV, but it’s not the only option for me.

“The most important thing is that I will play for a new club.”

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