Betis closing in on Van der Vaart

Newly-promoted Real Betis are close to completing the signing of Rafael van der Vaart on a Bosman free transfer from Hamburg.

The Andalucians will play La Liga football next season after being crowned champions of the second tier, and AS reports that they are on the verge of kicking off their summer business by sealing a deal for the Dutch star.

Speaking on the possibility of the 32-year-old arriving at Benito Vilamarin before the start of next season, Betis boss Pepe Mel commented: “Players come here because they have ambition to win things.

“Rafael has the possibility of playing in a European Championship next year so it’s an interesting option for both him and the club.

“We’re working hard [on the deal] and Eduardo [Macia] will accelerate everything on Monday.”

Van der Vaart is understood to be keen on a return to Spain, having previously represented Real Madrid, as well as Ajax and Tottenham Hotspur, but will only do so if he is assured first-team football ahead of Euro 2016.

Betis’s transfer dealings this summer will be headed by former Valencia and Liverpool scout Eduardo Macia, who became the club’s sporting director in March.

Hamburg, meanwhile, only survived in Bundesliga courtesy of a two-legged relegation playoff victory over Karlsruhe.

Tags Eduardo Macia Pepe Mel Rafael van der Vaart Transfers