Sporting KC confirm interest in Van der Vaart
Rafael van der Vaart could be the next big name to move to the MLS after Sporting Kansas City confirmed they want to sign the Hamburg captain.
Van der Vaart is out of contract at the end of the 2014-15 Bundesliga season in May and Sporting KC have emerged as a possible destination for the 32-year-old, who has called Hamburg home since leaving Tottenham in 2012.
David Villa, Frank Lampard (both New York City) and Kaka (Orlando City) have made the switch to the United States and Van der Vaart could follow, with Sporting KC CEO Robb Heineman hopeful of prising the 109-cap Netherlands veteran to Kansas City in July or even earlier depending on Hamburg.
"If we can get that done, we'd like to get it done," Heineman said. "He'd be a July move - maybe earlier.
"I don't know if Hamburg would let him out early. There's a lot of things to work out with him."
Van der Vaart has won trophies in nearly every country he has played in, having helped Ajax to two Eredivisie titles (2001-02, 2003-04), Real Madrid to the Supercopa de Espana (2008) and Hamburg to the UEFA Intertoto Cup (2005, 2007).
And Heineman said Sporting KC have the finances to complete a deal for Van der Vaart.
"It isn't a money issue. It's more around some family things," Heineman added.
"He's got a son in Hamburg, obviously, and he's got a father who travels to a lot of his games, and so we've got to accommodate some of those things.
"So if we can work those things out, we'll have him."
Sporting KC open their 2015 MLS campaign against New York Red Bulls on Sunday.