Tottenham playmaker Rafael van der Vaart has refused to rule out a move to Bundesliga side Schalke in the summer. There are reports suggesting the Germans are lining up a £12mn move for the Dutchman and the 29 year old has responded to speculation by saying he was reluctant to discuss his future.
"I won't say anything about it. At the moment I am fully focused on Euro 2012," Sky Sports quoted van der Vaart as saying.
The former Real Madrid star earlier expressed his unhappiness at being forced to play, at times, in different positions and also to make way whenever Harry Redknapp made substitutions. It seems he has been promised a key role and consistent first team football in Germany. The Daily Mail reports also that the player's wife, Sylvie, would be more amenable to the idea, given she works for German television station RTL and is based in Cologne, which is less than 100km from Schalke's stadium.
There is yet another factor which could force the transfer. Van der Vaart is thought to be good friends with Schalke player and compatriot Klaas-Jan Huntelaar. The striker was the leading goal scorer in the Bundesliga last season and has been offered a new deal to stay the Veltins- Arena but the 28 year old has apparently informed his club he will sign the extension only if they sign van der Vaart, The Sun reports.
Schalke are understood to be happy to bow to Huntelaar's demands and are now ready to offer van der Vaart a deal worth £100,000 a week. The midfielder is not a stranger to the Bundesliga. He spent three successful seasons with Hamburg, from 2005 to 2008, as the club's captain, before moving to Madrid.
There are fears Tottenham could lose a number of high-profile players this summer, due to the club's exit from next season's Champions League campaign following Chelsea's win over Bayern Munich in last season's final two weeks ago.
Meanwhile, Spurs defender Ledley King will be offered a new one-year, pay-as-you play contract at White Hart Lane, reports the Daily Mirror. The 31 year old managed 23 appearances last season despite a persistent knee trouble and the club will now reward the Englishman with a new deal.