Report: Trabzonspor in talks with Stoke-linked Rafael van der Vaart

Hamburg skipper Rafael van der Vaart could be heading to the Turkish Super Lig if reports are to be believed.

Turkish club Trabzonspor are in talks with Hamburg midfielder Rafael van der Vaart, according to Fanatik.

Van der Vaart, 31, is out of contract in the summer and, as such, can enter direct negotiations with other clubs.

Hamburg look doubtful to offer him a new deal at this point, with the Netherlands international telling Kicker earlier this month: “I quite often talk to Didi [Hamburg CEO Dietmar Beiersdorfer], but nothing concrete has been discussed.

“Everything’s open. What happens after June is not in my hands. But I don’t feel any pressure. I am totally relaxed.”

Stoke are also interested in Van der Vaart’s signature, per the Stoke Sentinel, put it remains to be seen whether manager Mark Hughes is prepared to ramp up his interest in the wake of Trabzonspor entering the fold.

The Super Lig outfit would be prepared to hand over a small fee to land the former Tottenham Hotspur star this month, and are said to have prepared a lucrative wage package in an attempt to steal a march on rival interest.

Arriving from Spurs in August 2012, Van der Vaart has made 185 total appearances for Hamburg over the past three seasons, while recording an impressive 65 goals and 45 assists.

Club captain, the 109-times capped Dutchman has continued to prove an important contributor to the Bundesliga side this season, grabbing four goals in 13 games, but is set to turn 32 next month and often withdrawn in the latter stages of games.

He can still produce to a high standard, having been part of Louis van Gaal’s 30-man provisional World Cup squad before withdrawing with a calf problem but, for someone with Real Madrid and Ajax on his résumé, his next destination might be somewhat more modest.

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