Villas-Boas rules out VDV sale
Spurs boss not thinking of selling Dutchman
Last Updated: August 23, 2012 11:23pm
Rafael van der Vaart: Has been linked with a move to Hamburg
Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has made it clear he has no intention of selling Rafael van der Vaart this summer.
Van der Vaart has been an undoubted success since he signed from Real Madrid two years ago, but the Dutchman had to settle for a place on the bench last week at Newcastle, with Villas-Boas selecting Gylfi Sigurdsson for his first game in charge.
The midfielder, who scored 14 goals for club and country last term, has been strongly linked with a return to Hamburg, where his wife Sylvie works.
The 29-year-old fuelled talk of a return to Germany when he said earlier this summer that he still "loves" the city where he spent three years before moving to Real Madrid.
Villas-Boas refused to guarantee that Van der Vaart would be at Spurs when the transfer window closes in eight days' time, but when asked whether it was his intention to sell the Holland international, the Portuguese said: "No, on the contrary. He's a player of great importance for us, a player I count on.
Not for sale
"I'm not sure if Hamburg are interested but he's a player who at the moment is not for sale.
"Anything can happen but he's a player we are counting on."
Spurs put great effort into landing Sigurdsson this summer amid strong interest from Liverpool.
Villas-Boas seems to have a lot of faith in the former Hoffenheim player, but denied that Van der Vaart is no longer in his first-team plans.
"Rafa was very unlucky because when he came from his vacation after the Euros he got injured in the game against LA Galaxy so he missed most of our pre-season in America and Sigurdsson was with us all pre-season," said the boss.
"He couldn't therefore play against Watford and Valencia so he came back late for selection and it was pretty straightforward to select Sigurdsson for the Newcastle game.
"Now Rafa has trained with us all week and he's looking strong and in contention."