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Sep 3, 2010

Van der Vaart reveals Atletico interest

New Tottenham signing Rafael van der Vaart has revealed that only Atletico Madrid made an offer for him - with Bayern Munich failing to table a "concrete" bid.

The Netherlands star said that Atletico did try to buy him but Real did not want to sell to their city rivals, instead accepting Tottenham's last-gasp £8 million bid on transfer deadline day.

The 27-year-old also said that he had the opportunity to leave Real Madrid last summer but delayed his departure due to his wife developing breast cancer.

"In the end, only Atletico Madrid pushed but neither I nor the club wanted me to go there," Van der Vaart said. "The offer from Bayern never ended up being concrete."

There have been suggestions that new Real boss Jose Mourinho was reluctant to let Van der Vaart leave and that sporting director Jorge Valdano was behind his departure.

"I don't want to speak badly about anybody - I have too much respect for the club," Van der Vaart said.

The midfielder added that he would love to return to the Bernabeu in what is Spurs' debut Champions League season.

"It's a shame that some Madrid fans were sad that I was sold but I'm sure we will see each other again soon,'' he said. "It would be a dream to go back to the Bernabeu with Tottenham. I would feel at home.

"It was sad for me to leave. I have a lot of good friends in the dressing room. The fans have always treated me well and I have a great opinion of Mourinho. He has won everything.''

Regarding his wife's battle with cancer, Van der Vaart told Marca: "Thank God my wife is now perfectly okay. She had a very serious illness and it is true that she had to be treated at the Clinica Quiron. Last season, they wanted me to leave but I couldn't leave for that reason.

"Now she is well and the only thing that happened was that Madrid wanted to sell and I wanted to get back to enjoying playing football, and Tottenham are a great team that are going to give me the football opportunities that I need.''

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