Van der Vaart returns to Hamburg for €13m

Rafael van der Vaart returned to Hamburg from Tottenham Hotspur in a €13 million deal signed just hours before the summer transfer window closed.

Van der Vaart returns to Hamburg for €13m
Photo: DPA

“I am thrilled that Rafael van der Vaart has rejoined,” said HSV head coach Thorsten Fink. “He will be a great addition to our team.”

Van der Vaart is something of a hero in Hamburg, having played for HSV between 2005 and 2008.

The transfer of the player from English side Tottenham Hotspur was reported to have been financed by a local investor who had also contributed to the previous transfers.

Hamburg managed to knock Spurs boss Daniel Levy down from his initial €18 million asking price.

Meanwhile, Barcelona midfielder Ibrahim Afellay completed a medical to join Schalke on a one-year loan from Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. The 26-year-old Dutch international was praised in advance for his versatility by coach Huub Stevens.

“He has special qualities and can play in many positions. In Eindhoven he played centrally, but he can also go on the left or right,” said Stevens.

The 26-year-old Afellay, who has 41 caps for the Netherlands, will hope to secure regular playing time in Germany.

Schalke sent Spanish midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado to Spartak Moscow on loan to help finance the deal. The 26-year-old will remain with the Russian club for a year.

Earlier in the week, Bayern Munich signed Javi Martinez from Athletic Bilbao, widely seen as one of the major transfers of the summer after the signing of Marco Reus by Borussia Dortmund from Borussia Mönchengladbach.

He was one of several high-profile players to join Bayern after signings that included Dante from Borussia Mönchengladbach and Mario Mandzukic from Wolfsburg.

Meanwhile Bundesliga new boys Greuther Fürth signed Schalke’s Brazilian striker Edu on loan until the end of the year.

DPA/DAPD/The Local/rc

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Emergency numbers fail in several German states

Callers to the emergency numbers 110 and 112 weren’t able to reach operators Thursday morning in several German states.

The 112 emergency number on an ambulance.
The 112 emergency number on an ambulance. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Boris Roessler

The emergency number 110 for police and 112 for fire crews failed around the country early Thursday morning, with callers unable to reach emergency operators for urgent assistance between about 4:30 am and 5:40 am local time.

The Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Aid is looking into these outages, which were reported in states including Lower Saxony, Baden-Württemberg, and  Brandenburg, and in major cities like Berlin, Cologne, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. Cologne was further affected by cuts to electricity, drinking water, and regular telephone services. Lower Saxony also saw disruptions to the internal phone networks of police and hospitals.

Emergency services are not reporting any more disturbances and people should be able to once again reach 110 and 112 around the country as normal.

Investigators are looking into the problem, but haven’t yet established a cause or any consequences that may have happened due to the outage. Provider Deutsche Telekom says they have ruled out the possibility of an attack by hackers.