Hamburg reject Van der Vaart bid
Hamburg have rejected Real Madrid's seven-million-euro offer for Dutch playmaker Rafael van der Vaart, the German club announced on Friday.
Real's German coach Bernd Schuster has long been a fan of the 25-year-old attacking midfielder, but Hamburg are in no mood to let their principal star leave as they continue their quest for a UEFA Champions League berth.
"The offer was absolutely out of the question," Hamburg chief Dietmar Beiersdorfer told German agency SID as Real then withdrew the offer.
Van der Vaart's contract runs until 2010, but there is a clause which allows him to leave for a fixed price of 1.5 million euros in the year before his contract expires.
The Dutchman has made no secret of his desire to play for a major European club, and was photographed in a Valencia shirt last August which earned him a heavy fine from Hamburg.
He has publicly stated he is happy to play another season in the Bundesliga.