Juventus might have been overshadowed by the 2006 matchfixing scandal and their squad might not possess the depth and quality of their arch rivals Internazionale but the Old Lady still command the respect and awe of top players.
Just ask Rafael van der Vaart at SV Hamburg. The Dutch international is already one foot on the train that will take him out of Germany and into Italy, precisely to Turin. Juventus manager Claudio Ranieri has consistently expressed interest in the creative midfielder and the club’s board too has backed him. And the player himself has joined in the speculation too.
Van der Vaart has never expressed reluctance to move to a bigger club and feels that Juve provide him the perfect launch pad to fulfil the promise and potential that he is gifted with. In an interview to the German newspaper Bild as picked up by SkySports here, van der Vaart doesn’t eclipse the fact that he would like to leave the AOL Arena for greener pastures and that he is no mood to renew his contract.
I have two-and-a-half years left on my Hamburg contract. That is long enough. At the same time, it does not mean I am already gone. But my dream of playing in a very big club is great and if I tie myself to Hamburg until 2012 it would be too long for me. There isn’t an official offer. I’ve heard that Juve are interested and I can imagine myself playing there.
Van der Vaart has a contract until 2010 with Hamburg and the German club is trying to extend that till 2012. But the player himself wants to move away and under such circumstances, it is unlikely that Hamburg would be able to force the player int submission. Although there is virtually no chance for Juve to snap up the midfielder in January, the Turin-based club would certainly like to think that they shall get the player in the summer. And Rafael van der Vaart would be worth every single penny that Juve would pay Hamburg. He is really that good.