Over the past two days, a pair of conflicting stories have come out regarding Sporting KC and their potential new designated player, Rafael van der Vaart. The Dutch international has been linked with a summer move to Kansas City once his contract expires with German club Hamburg.
Yesterday, KC Star beat writer, Sam McDowell provided an update on the situation saying that Peter Vermes and SKC were still in contact with van der Vaart, but that the two had no movement in regards to a new contract. Peter Vermes, Robb Heineman, and Mike Illig met with van der Vaart after his club played Eintracht Frankfurt in Bundesliga action. In the article though, Vermes claims that "there is nothing happening at the moment."
Then today came a story from FutbolMLS.com that was picked up by Univision about KC's pursuit of van der Vaart. The article claims that the deal to bring van der Vaart to the US is done and that the 32 year old will sign a two and a half year contract with the club. The only quotes in the article are old ones from Heineman referencing the fact that van der Vaart is unlikely to come until the summer when he'd be available on a free transfer unless Hamburg were to release him early the same way that Wigan did.
In response to this latest story today, McDowell took to Twitter today to explain that nothing had changed from his reporting the day before regarding van der Vaart's status on signing with Sporting KC. For what it's worth, I put more faith in the reporting of McDowell than I do FutbolMLS.com. That's not to say that I don't think a deal will get done, just that I believe McDowell's sources on where things stand right now.
With the way that KC continues to play right now, the van der Vaart move makes more and more sense for KC. Vermes seems dead set on keeping Benny Feilhaber in that deep lying playmaker role, which has reduced his role in the offense. KC's passing from the midfield in the final third has really lacked this year with Paulo Nagamura, Roger Espinoza, and even Krisztian Nemeth filling in at the advanced role. Another playmaker on the field in front of Feilhaber would help to release some of that pressure that is currently on the attacking midfield position. My early concerns about his health, fitness, and defensive play are still to be answered though.