Sporting Kansas City coach confirms ex-Tottenham ace Rafael van der Vaart remains on club's radar

Van Der Vaart

Talks remain ongoing with the Hamburg captain but no progress towards a deal has been made since last month's meeting.

While Sporting Kansas City have kept in contact with Rafael van der Vaart since last month’s meeting in Germany, head coach Peter Vermes has told the Kansas City Star that no new progress has been made towards a deal.

Van der Vaart, 32, is out of contract with Hamburg in the summer and, after seeing his first-team minutes reduced in recent weeks, the Hamburg Morgenpost have reported that the chances of an extension are all but over.

Sporting KC officials have been across the Atlantic for talks with the Dutch midfielder and, while Bild’s claims that a €4.3 million-per-season offer was put on the table have since been quashed, the MLS club’s CEO Robb Heineman has confirmed that the funds are there to make a deal happen.

“It isn't a money issue. It's more around some family things,” Heineman told earlier this month. “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.”

A few weeks on, Vermes has added that he has exchanged text messages with Van der Vaart ahead of a potential summer move but stresses that an agreement is still to be reached.

“He’s definitely someone who is on our radar, for sure,” the MLS Cup-winning coach said. “But I would say there’s nothing happening at the moment.”

Returning to Hamburg from Tottenham Hotspur in August 2012, following a previous spell between 2005 and 2008, Van der Vaart has since scored 18 times in 78 total appearances for the Bundesliga side, while also adding 21 assists.

Named club captain for a second time in April 2013, the Netherlands international has put in some solid performances this season from a deeper midfield role, grabbing five goals in 20 games, but a nagging calf problem has seen him complete a full 90 minutes on just four occasions.

That said, having come close to making Louis van Gaal’s World Cup squad in the summer, before being forced to withdraw injured, there are good reasons to believe that the ex-Real Madrid and Ajax star would prove a big hit in MLS, where his creative qualities could see him thrive in the attacking third.

“I think Peter would like to see him in a much more advanced position as an attacker,” Heineman added to on Van der Vaart’s potential role in Vermes’ line-up.

“I think the way that they're playing in Hamburg right now doesn't really utilize his skills in the best way, and I think he'd kind of like to get back to being that kind of a player.”

However, with Calciomercato reporting that Serie A giants Roma are also interested in the former Spurs ace, Sporting KC could well be facing some serious competition for his signature.

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