x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Real's Dutch players sidelined

Real Madrid's Dutch contingent appear to be the Bernabeu's book-balancing casualties following Florentine Perez's free-spending summer.

Real Madrid's Dutch contingent appear to be the Bernabeu's book-balancing casualties following Florentine Perez's free-spending summer. With unwanted Klaas-Jan Huntelaar's anticipated departure temporarily stalling, Holland's Rafael van der Vaart and Wesley Sneijder are the latest midfield maestros linked with Spanish exits. The highly-rated duo will attract interest from leading English, Italian and German clubs, and although Sneijder's agent is relaying mixed messages on the 26-year-old playmaker's future, van der Vaart's availability is not in doubt to would-be suitors.

"[Real coach Manuel] Pellegrini told me I won't get much chance to play, so it's not an option to stay - I will play at a new club," said van der Vaart - who could return to Hamburg only 12 months after leaving for £8 million (Dh49.7m). Sneijder's displeasure at Real's exorbitant close-season spending has also thrown the attacking midfielder's future into doubt, and the player's agent, Soren Lerby, admitted last week he will leave if first-team opportunities diminish. "Big players needs to play regularly and that may not happen," Lerby said.

Sneijder has since been linked to an Inter Milan team flush with funds from Zlatan Ibrahimovic's transfer to Barcelona. But Lerby yesterday quashed claims the international was going anywhere, saying: "We have an understanding with Madrid that Wesley can't leave and nothing has changed there," he said. @Email:emegson@thenational.ae