Friday, February 19, 2016

Van Der Vaart Back on Sporting's Radar or Just Agent Talk?

Early last season when Kansas City was looking to fill their third designated player spot, the club was very publicly chasing former Dutch international, Rafael van der Vaart, who was out of contract over the summer. Instead the 33 year old van der Vaart signed with newly promoted Spanish La Liga side, Real Betis. The move though appears like it hasn't worked out for him though as Betis is looking to offload the attacking midfielder after just over half a season in Spain.

With Betis looking to offload him, that has brought about rumors of van der Vaart once again coming to MLS. Marca in Spain is reporting that there are three MLS clubs interested in the Dutchman's services, including renewed interest from Sporting KC.

Later today, Nova Sports Group, a sports representation company reported that van der Vaart's discovery rights in MLS are currently still held by Sporting Kansas City, which would basically end any other MLS team's interest unless they were willing to trade with Kansas City for van der Vaart's discovery rights, leaving just KC at the moment.

So is KC really chasing van der Vaart again?

Robb Heineman mentioned on Twitter last night that the club was close to another signing, so the timing of the news could be looked at as some form of confirmation of the news. The issue that I've had with the van der Vaart news from the start is that he plays a position that KC already has an MLS Best XI player in Benny Feilhaber. Sure Peter Vermes could look to rotate Feilhaber a bit more this year after starting 36 of KC's 40 games last season, but is van der Vaart the one to fill his spot. One of the issues over the last few years for van der Vaart has been his ability to stay healthy, and KC has picked up players with recent injury history (Nuno Andre Coelho) it's just a move that doesn't make sense. Heineman had talked about in his Q&A on Twitter about getting a young DP, a number 9, which doesn't match up with van der Vaart's style, or his age. Nova Sports also mentioned that Betis is looking for 1.5 million Euros in the deal, and that van der Vaart is currently on a 900,000 Euros deal.

For me, chasing van der Vaart again doesn't make sense. Last summer Vermes had said that the two just couldn't come together on numbers when the player was a free agent, now under contract to a club, looking to sell I can't see KC going along and paying a transfer fee for van der Vaart, it's not their style.

To me all this is, is agent talk, van der Vaart's agent is trying to get him a new contract somewhere, maybe even in China, and he's throwing out MLS teams because of KC's prior interest in the player. It's just not something I see the club pursuing at this time.

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