Forget Sneijder! Southampton should target Van Der Vaart

Southampton should make Rafael van der Vaart a priority signing this month.

Southampton have been heavily linked with Wesley Sneijder, but if they are on the look-out for an experienced Dutchman then Rafael van der Vaart represents a better option.

Sneijder and Van Der Vaart have been two of their country's most prominent performers over the past decade, but the latter looks a better option at this stage of his career.

The Saints' bid for Sneijder was blocked by Galatasaray's £9 million asking price and his current wages, but there should be no such problems with signing Van Der Vaart.

Although he may still demand a relatively high salary, his remuneration package is not likely to be as hefty as his compatriot's. 

Furthermore, the fact that he will be available on a cut-price deal this month means that any increase in wages should be off-set. 

Van Der Vaart is out of contract at Hamburg at the start of July, meaning that he is free to speak to clubs from England. 

Although Southampton would have to wait until next summer to sign the former Real Madrid man on a free, they could benefit from the uncertainty over his future.

Hamburg will be keen not to lose Van Der Vaart on a free transfer, meaning that they may be forced to cash-in on their talismanic midfielder if an offer comes in for him. 

The Saints are an attractive proposition for any player at the moment, after their blistering start, and the chance to join a Champions League push would likely be one Van Der Vaart would find too good to refuse. 

The fact that Ronald Koeman is in charge at St. Mary's is another factor which could make Van Der Vaart's decision an easy one.

Southampton already have the creative skill of James Ward-Prowse and Dusan Tadic in their ranks, but Van Der Vaart has shown before, whilst at Tottenham Hostpur, just how much of a force he can be in the Premier League and his experience and quality could be vital as the South Coast side launch a challenge for a top-four spot. 

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