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Aug 31, 2012

Van der Vaart completes Hamburg switch

Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rafael van der Vaart has returned to Hamburg in a transfer reported to be worth £10.3 million.

The deal, which has been partly financed by a local investor Klaus-Michael Kuhne, who gave the Bundesliga club an interest-free loan, went through on Friday afternoon after the Netherlands international passed a medical and signed a three-year deal.

"I am delighted that Rafael van der Vaart will be playing for Hamburg again," said Hamburg coach Thorsten Fink. "He will be a strong addition to our team."

Van der Vaart represented Hamburg between 2005 and 2008 after sealing a €5.5 million from Dutch club Ajax, where he twice won the Eredivisie.

Hamburg started the season - their 50th consecutive year in the Bundesliga - with a 1-0 defeat at home to Nurnberg after being knocked out of the DFB-Pokal in the first round.

This also convinced them to make an extra effort to sign Van Der Vaart, who was a big crowd favourite during his first spell at the club before moving to Real Madrid.

"In view of the sporting situation of the team and the perspectives, we came to the conclusion that we had to complete this transfer,'' read a statement from the club's board of directors. "This was only possible thanks to the generous financial assistance of Klaus-Michael Kuhne.

Van der Vaart could make his debut in Saturday's northern Germany derby against Werder Bremen.

"This return to Hamburg is a dream come true for me and my family,'' said the 29-year-old. "I owe Hamburg and Klaus-Michael Kuhne huge thanks. I am looking forward to three great years.''

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