Germany media has really picked up on the Rafael van der Vaart to Sporting KC rumors. After Robb Heineman and Mike Illig were at Saturday's Bundesliga match between Frankfurt and van der Vaart's Hamburg, the rumors really picked up with German site Bild jumping all over it.
Now the German tabloid is reporting the price tag that Kansas City is offering the Dutch international. The report is that Sporting would pay van der Vaart $4.8 million per year to play for Kansas City. The entire Sporting KC team last year earned $4.1 million according to the players union. The price alone really jumps out, because it's not something that you would expect Sporting to do. Not that Sporting couldn't afford the salary that's being suggested, it just seems out of character.
Signing van der Vaart for that price would certainly be the largest price paid for a DP that Kansas City has ever paid. But is it too much? Questions about van der Vaart's health and fitness are two things that cause pause for KC fans who know about Peter Vermes and his "Sporting fit" playing style. Would van der Vaart fit in with that style? And if he doesn't, how soon before Vermes puts him on the bench? Another question is van der Vaart's defensive responsibilities, which he isn't exactly known for.
Similar to the Marcel de Jong signing, I feel there are other areas that KC would be better served upgrading than getting a 32 year old attacking midfielder. Van der Vaart would be unlikely to arrive until the summer when he contract with Hamburg expires unless, like with Roger Espinoza, he is let out of his contract to joining Kansas City early.
For me, I am still torn on this, I worry about some of the questions in van der Vaart's game that seem to go against the style of play that Vermes likes to use. On the other, if van der Vaart is still generating interest from teams in Spain, Italy, and Ajax, maybe Vermes can get something out of him.