Liverpool have accepted a bid from Hoffenheim for striker Ryan Babel.
“The Bundesliga Club have now been given permission to discuss personal terms with the player, who has travelled to Germany,” said a statement from Liverpool FC.
Bild, the German newspaper, quoted Hoffenheim’s main financial backer, software billionaire Dietmar Hopp, as saying that Hoffenheim was in an “emergency situation” with the likely departure of Senegal striker Demba Ba and a long-term injury to Nigeria striker Chinedu Obasi.
Babel, the 24-year-old striker, joined Liverpool during the summer of 2007 for a fee in the region of £11.5 million. It is not known as of press time how much Hoffenheim has bid for Babel.
If a deal is finalized, I’ll be sorry to see Babel go. I’ve admired his patience and work-rate for Liverpool. While he didn’t get as many chances as he deserved at Liverpool, it’s probably the best thing for him to leave the club so he can play on a regular basis at a club such as Hoffenheim.
Recently Babel was in the headlines for being fined £10,000 by The FA for posting a Photoshopped image on Twitter of Howard Webb wearing a Manchester United shirt after the Premier League referee gave a dodgy penalty to United after Berbatov dived in the box.
UPDATES: Reports are coming in that the bid from Hoffenheim was £5.8 million so if Babel does accept the bid, Liverpool would have sold Babel for just under half the amount that they paid for him. In other news, Aston Villa has confirmed that Darren Bent has signed for the club for a transfer fee of £18 million which could rise to £24 million depending on performance bonuses. Bent will make his debut for Aston Villa this Saturday in their home match against Manchester City (12:30pm ET, Fox Soccer Channel).
With Babel on the verge of heading to Hoffenheim, this helps Liverpool move closer to signing Luis “I’m not a cheat” Suarez. The Uruguayan striker, who famously handled the ball to prevent Ghana from scoring in the 2010 World Cup, is at Ajax but wants to move to Liverpool.