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Van der Vaart signs for Real Madrid: report

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Aug 2008

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Spanish champions Real Madrid have signed Dutch international midfielder Rafael van der Vaart from Bundesliga side Hamburg for nine million euros (14 million dollars), radio Cadena Ser reported Friday.

Under the deal Real Madrid will also get a bonus which will vary depending on the performance of the 25-year-old midfielder, whose mother is Spanish, the radio station added.

Real's German coach Bernd Schuster has long been a fan of the player, but Hamburg were reluctant to let their chief playmaker and captain leave as they continued their quest for a Champions League berth.

Last week Hamburg boss Dietmar Beiersdorfer said the German side had rejected an offer of seven million euros for the Dutchman who has made no secret of his desire to play for a major European club.

But Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon said in an interview published Wednesday that the Spanish side was close to signing the player.

“He is a player that Schuster and the coaching staff like a lot and the deal is close. We are waiting to reach a definitive agreement with Hamburg, but it shouldn't be difficult,” he told Spanish sports daily AS.

Cadena Ser said the player would be officially unveiled as a Real Madrid player on Monday.

Van der Vaart has publicly stated he is happy to play another season at the north German club.

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