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By ESPN Staff

Van der Vaart confirms he'll leave Real Madrid

Rafael van der Vaart is expecting to leave Real Madrid after learning he is not in new coach Manuel Pellegrini's plans for the season.

The Holland international only joined Real from Hamburg last summer, but has been deemed surplus to requirements following the big-money arrivals at the Bernabeu.

Chelsea have previously been linked with a bid for the midfielder, while former clubs Ajax and Hamburg are also reportedly keen.

Van der Vaart confirmed Pellegrini has told him he will be on the periphery this term and revealed Real want to recoup the 16m euros (£13.5m) paid to Hamburg 12 months ago.

"The coach told me I won't get much chance to play, so it's not an option to stay here," Van der Vaart told De Telegraaf. "Real want to get my transfer fee back. I completely understand that clubs want to wait."

The 26-year-old would be prepared to return to Hamburg and admits his priority is to find a club where he will play regular first-team football.

He added: "Of course I am interested in HSV, but it's not the only option for me. The most important thing is that I will play at a new club."

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