Liverpool news

Babel u-turn as he heads for Hoffenheim

January 24, 2011
By ESPN staff

Ryan Babel is set to leave Liverpool, after agreeing a move to Hoffenheim, six days after a price was agreed between the two clubs.

Kenny Dalglish had said earlier on Monday that Babel would not be leaving Liverpool in this January transfer window but the Dutchman is due to fly out to Germany on Tuesday.

Ryan Babel has grown accustomed to his seat on the Liverpool bench
PA PhotosRyan Babel has grown accustomed to his seat on the Liverpool bench

• Poulsen aims to win over fans
• Suarez keen on England
• Reds fail with Adam offer
• Live transfer blog: January 24

Dalglish said Babel would not be moving to either Hoffenheim or Ajax, despite Liverpool accepting an offer from the former last week. The manager said: "He's staying here."

Asked what that means regarding Liverpool's move for Ajax forward Luis Suarez, Dalglish preferred to focus on Babel by reiterating: "He's staying here."

The Reds recently lodged a £4 million bid for Blackpool's Charlie Adam, a figure labelled "disgraceful" by Ian Holloway, and Dalglish predictably refused to speak about a possible increased offer for the former Rangers midfielder.

"I've told you before, if I've got some business to discuss, we will discuss," he said. "We've said we'll try to adopt the ways of Liverpool Football Club, and certainly one of our ways is to be respectful to other clubs.

"The most important people we have are the players at our football club, not those belonging to others."

Dalglish also welcomed the return from suspension of captain Steven Gerrard, who will play in Wednesday's game against Fulham following a three-match ban.

"He is a special person - he's not just a special footballer," Dalglish said. "The way he has served this club and what the club means to him - it is nothing short of fantastic what he has done for this football club.

"I don't have words in my vocabulary to be complimentary enough about Steven other than to say this club is much better off with him than it could be without him.

"What he's done for this football club, he deserves to be up there in the folklore and the history of the club. He is a fantastic footballer that we're very lucky to have at our disposal."

Dalglish had begun his morning press conference in jovial mood, asking the Sky Sports reporter if he was comfortable having a female in the room following revelations of sexist comments made by Andy Gray and Richard Keys.

However, the Liverpool manager's mood immediately turned serious when asked about transfers, insisting he is re-establishing the "Liverpool way" by refusing to discuss potential transfer targets.