Liverpool accept Hoffenheim’s bid for Babel

Posted on by SoccerPunter

Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has been given permission to join German side Hoffenheim after the Premier League club accepted their bid for the Dutch international.

Babel will now travel to Germany to discuss personal terms with Hoffenheim and could complete his transfer in time to make his debut against St Pauli on Sunday.

“Liverpool FC this afternoon announced they had accepted a bid from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim for the transfer of Dutch international Ryan Babel,” a statement on the club’s website confirmed on Tuesday.

“The Bundesliga Club have now been given permission to discuss personal terms with the player, who has travelled to Germany.”

The 24-year-old has struggled to make an impact during his three-and-a-half-year spell at Anfield since leaving Ajax.

Hoffenheim, currently ninth in the German Bundesliga, see Babel as the ideal man to replace outgoing Senegalese striker Demba Ba.

“Babel was one of our chief targets and the one our manager Ernst Tanner was keenest to sign,” Hoffenheim owner Dietmar Hopp told German daily Der Bild on Tuesday.

Der Bild added that a fee of seven million euros had been agreed for the transfer.

He has scored just twice in 17 appearances this season and was an unused substitute for Liverpool’s 2-2 draw against Merseyside rivals Everton on Sunday.

Babel was in the Dutch 2010 World Cup squad that made the final, although he played no part in the impressive run that ended in a 1-0 defeat to Spain in the final.

The player was in trouble off the pitch earlier this week when the former Ajax player received a fine of 10,000 pounds (16,000 dollars) from the English FA after a post on Twitter.

He was charged with improper conduct after using the micro-blogging website to criticise referee Howard Webb.

Babel linked to a mocked-up picture of Webb in a Manchester United shirt after Liverpool recently lost 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup following a controversial first-minute penalty.

He also wrote: “And they call him one of the best referees? That’s a joke. SMH (shaking my head).”

Babel later apologised for his comments and posted: “My apology if they take my posted pic seriously. This is just an emotional reaction after losing an important game. Sorry Howard Webb.”

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