Dutchman looking for Bernabeu escape route.
Chelsea have been offered Dutch international Rafael van der Vaart. The 26-year-old is out of favour at Real Madrid and eager to change clubs as he seeks playing time before the World Cup. Like Hamsik, Van der Vaart is free to play Champions League football in the second half of the season.
Chelsea are looking to refresh other areas of the first-team squad while providing cover at striker and defensive midfield for four players due to be absent for up to six weeks on African Cup of Nations duty early next year. With money also expected to be spent on academy recruits, Chelsea’s January spend could be significant.
“We are naturally concerned about the quality of the players we will be losing,” said assistant first-team coach Ray Wilkins. “Any team in the country would miss four players of the calibre of Drogba, Essien, Kalou and Mikel. There are certainly a few names out there that Carlo would like to sign.” (Times Online)
Real Madrid appeared to have convinced Rafael Van der Vaart to not leave the club in the summer by promising him more of a shot at a run in the team and as a result the Dutchman didn’t follow the likes of Sneijder, Heinze, Huntelaar and Robben out the door. So far this season he has started just one game out of 11, which appears to suggest that the the La Liga club were less than truthful with Rafael. After all the former Ajax man played 40 games last season so could have expected to have had a decent level of involvement but that hasn’t proved to be the case so If Chelsea did indeed make a bid for the 26 year old then I would imagine it could well be a successful one, that is of course if they can avoid the FIFA ban!