Rafael open to Prem switch
Rafael van der Vaart has revealed he would find it difficult to ignore an offer from Liverpool or Chelsea.
Last Updated: 25/07/10 1:27pm
Real Madrid midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has revealed he would find it difficult to ignore an offer to join one of England's top teams.
The Dutchman has slipped down the pecking order at the Santiago Bernabeu and speculation suggests he could be set to embark on a new challenge.
There is reportedly strong interest from the Premier League and Van der Vaart is aware of the transfer talk.
He understands that a couple of major clubs are keepings tabs on his situation and says the prospect of such a switch does sound appealing.
"I have heard of the interest from Liverpool and Chelsea - and that is very flattering," Van der Vaart told the Daily Star Sunday.
"If either of them were willing to offer me first-team football, I will be honest that it would be very hard for me to not listen to what they had to say.
"I think I have the relationship with Madrid where they understand my position and would let me hold talks.
"I expect the majority of transfers to be concluded in the next two weeks, and if Chelsea or Liverpool wanted to talk with me I would at the very least listen to what they have to say.
"They are both giants, and if they could offer first-team football it may prove impossible to turn down."
Van der Vaart, 27, maintains that he still enjoys life with Madrid but feels the priority for him at this stage of his career is to play more regularly.
"Real Madrid is the most prestigious club in the world and I am happy here and also in Spain, but I am at the age where I have to be playing first-team football," he explained.
"I am getting to the point where I will be hitting my peak years and I need to spend those years at a club where I will be playing regularly.
"The boss knows how much he plans to use me, and if he is willing to listen to offers for me."
Van der Vaart added that if he was deemed surplus to requirements at Madrid, then England would be his ideal destination.
"I wouldn't be willing to play for any clubs in Spain out of respect for Madrid, so in my eyes the only other place to go would be the Premier League," he stated.
"It's the only league that competes with the standard of La Liga."