When Sporting Kansas City confirmed their interest in Rafael van der Vaart, price wasn't on the list of possible obstacles to landing the Dutch midfielder.
But that interest has waned, if not gone away entirely – and the main sticking point, it turned out, was economic.
Sporting were willing to wait for the 32-year-old van der Vaart's contract with Bundesliga side Hamburger SV to run out in May, but the two sides were still too far apart on their negotiations, even without a transfer fee factoring into the equation.
"It wouldn't make sense for us,” manager and technical director Peter Vermes told The Kansas City Star last week. “No disrespect to him, but it doesn't make sense for the kind of numbers we're talking."
Sporting made no secret of their offseason pursuit of the 2010 World Cup veteran, who started all three group-stage matches and came off the bench in both the semifinal and final rounds as the Oranje finished runners-up to Spain.
In early March, club president Robb Heineman said he hoped to bring the veteran midfielder in at midseason during the summer transfer window if Hamburger SV weren't willing to release their captain early. He also said that van der Vaart was not being used to his best effect with the German club and wanted to return to an attacking role.
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“It isn't a money issue. It's more around some family things,” Heineman told reporters at the time. “He's got a son in Hamburg, obviously, and he's got a father who travels to a lot of his games, and so we've got to accommodate some of those things.”
Steve Brisendine covers Sporting Kansas City for MLSsoccer.com.