Real sports chief Pedja Mijatovic was in Holland yesterday to close the signing of Feyenoord wing-back Royston Drenthe and maintained constant contact with his intermediary over the Van der Vaart discussions. Real are turning to the Dutchman after being knocked back by Chelsea midfielder Michael Ballack this week.
Earlier this summer, Van der Vaart said: "It would not be honest if I said that I am going to fulfill my contract (until 2011) in Hamburg. I want to play in the Champions League and win titles, and Madrid is a great club.
"I will continue with my present club unless Real Madrid calls me. It is impossible to say no to Madrid."