Well, this is all rather bizarre, isn't it? According to reports emerging today, Reading are interested in making a move for 33 year-old Rafael Van Der Vaart. Get Reading claim that the attacking midfielder, who hasn't featured much for current club Real Betis, could be tempted by a move to the Madejski Stadium. The Dutchman still has two years to run on his contract in Andalusia.
If he did sign for the Royals, Van Der Vaart would surely be the most high-profile signing in the club's history. The Dutchman came through the ranks at Ajax, before playing for the likes of Real Madrid and Tottenham Hotspur. He's played over 100 times for his country, and won has the Dutch league (x2), Dutch cup (x1) and Spanish Super Cup (x1).
Could this rumour have any legs to it?
According to Fox Sports, Van Der Vaart is available to leave Real Betis. Since arriving at the Seville-based side, he's only made nine appearances. A few days ago, the Dutchman claimed that:
“As everyone knows, [Betis] don’t want me there. I’ll go and train and see what happens. If I don’t leave in the end, I want to earn my place in the team."
“I have a particular trainer in Amsterdam and I’m training hard with him every day. There is contact with other clubs, but nothing concrete.”
That 'non-concrete' contact could include Reading.
Van Der Vaart's wages would be the biggest stumbling block to any transfer. Even at 33, his illustrious career (that includes a World Cup final) means that Reading would have to pay a pretty penny for his services. Having said that, I'd imagine that any deal would probably be restricted to lasting one or two seasons.
On the flipside, if Van Der Vaart did fancy turning out for a Championship side, Reading could very well be a feasible choice. The Royals have a big transfer pull now that Jaap Stam is in the hot seat. Apart from generally being highly regarded in the Netherlands, Stam once played alongside Van Der Vaart for the Dutch national side.
Does that make a move to Berkshire likely? Maybe, maybe not. Either way, it's great to see the club being linked with the likes of Van Der Vaart, even if it's just an enquiry.
Do you think Van Der Vaart would be a good signing for Reading? Or would his wages be too high? Let us know in the comments.