Rafael - I'm staying put

Midfielder keen to stay at Bernabeu despite Ozil signing

Van der Vaart: Not considering exit

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Rafael van der Vaart insists Mesut Ozil's arrival at Real Madrid will not push him towards the door.

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German World Cup star Ozil completed his move to the Bernabeu from Werder Bremen on Tuesday for a reported fee of €15million (£12.4m), fuelling speculation over Van der Vaart's future with the Spanish giants.

But the Dutchman insists he is not considering an exit, and is looking forward to battling for a regular spot in the team against his fellow midfielder.


"(Ozil's arrival) does not signify my departure," said Van der Vaart. "I don't want to leave the club and I want to continue this season.

"Nobody at the club has told me I am out.

"For me his arrival is not a problem. I need to fight for my place in the team, which is a positive for Real because we are at the same club.

"I am used to fighting against big names for a place in the starting XI and this year is no exception."

Holland midfielder Van der Vaart did not celebrate after scoring for Real in their 1-1 pre-season friendly draw against Standard Liege on Tuesday, prompting more rumours that he is on his way out of the club.

But Real boss Jose Mourinho insists nothing should be read from his lack of reaction, and is adamant Van der Vaart can still play a key role in the team.

Mourinho told Marca: "For us it was just a training match. The result was not very important. I don't give any importance to the fact that Van der Vaart did not celebrate his goal. I didn't (celebrate) either. It was a friendly.

"For me, Van der Vaart is still as important as before the Ozil transfer. As always, I will listen to the wishes of the players."

Ozil will be officially unveiled by Real at a press conference on Wednesday afternoon, and Mourinho is backing the 21-year-old to make a big impact for the Primera Liga club.

"He's a player who can play for Real Madrid for 10 years," he said.

"His contract was running out so we could get him at a lot less than his actual market value.

"With Kaka's injury, Ozil and Sergio (Canales) are two players who can give us a lot."


Mourinho says he is happy with his summer signings after adding Ozil to a haul that includes Canales, Sami Khedira, Ricardo Carvalho, Pedro Leon and Angel Di Maria.

He added: "In a market that is affected by the bad economic situation, without making a signing like Kaka or Cristiano (Ronaldo), the club has invested enough."

One player Mourinho failed to bring to Real this summer is 17-year-old Anderlecht striker Romelu Lukaku, but the Portuguese boss says the deal could still materialise in the future.

"His father is very intelligent and will not let his son go now," added Mourinho. "We will see next season."