Rafael van der Vaart: Hamburg decision to let me go is not a problem

Rafael van der Vaart said he understood Hamburg's decision not to extend his stay as he was again linked with a move to MLS club Sporting Kansas City.

Midfielder Van der Vaart will not be offered a new contract when his current deal with the Bundesliga strugglers expires at the end of the season.

The 32-year-old former Spurs midfielder told Bild: "It's not a problem and also no surprise.

"Maybe it's better for both sides. There is a time to come and a time to go."

Earlier this month, Sporting Kansas City CEO Robb Heineman wrote on Twitter that the club had held "productive discussions" with the Hamburg skipper, but said: "We didn't speak about money in any detail."

He later wrote that reports of a deal were "premature" and that there was "nothing imminent."

Van der Vaart has played 145 Bundesliga games for HSV over two spells, scoring 45 goals.

Hamburg are currently 16th in the Bundesliga, a position that would put them in the relegation/promotion playoffs at the end of the season.

Van der Vaart vowed to help them avoid a first ever relegation from the Bundesliga, saying: "I will give it my all for HSV until the last second."

Hamburg chairman Karl Gernandt told NDR Sportclub: "I hope everyone in the team knows that we are close to living on borrowed time."

Should Hamburg avoid the drop, they hope to lure former Mainz coach Thomas Tuchel to the Volkspark.

"He's one of the attractive names who would be a great fit at Hamburg," Gernandt explained.