Transfer talk

Babel headed for Fiorentina

August 15, 2012
By Stephan Ueberzahl, Germany correspondent

Ryan Babel could finally be on his way to Fiorentina according to the forward's agent Winny Haatrecht, with kicker reporting that negotiations with the Serie A team have been completed.

Ryan Babel has embraced responsibility
GettyImagesRyan Babel: Set to move on after failing to shine in the Bundesliga

Babel, 25, currently plays for TSG Hoffenheim, but has failed to impress and was told he is free to go by the club.

The Netherlands international, who signed for Hoffenheim from Liverpool in a £7 million deal, has only scored five goals in 46 appearances for the Bundesliga club, and the club have declared they would like to reach an agreement with Fiorentina.

In Dutch paper De Telegraaf, Babel's agent had earlier claimed the reasons for his departure were not only sporting issues but also financial. He explained Babel was only four matches away from a contract extension until 2014 which would also double his wages.

Hoffenheim coach Markus Babbel said: "My decision is down to sporting issues only. I don't care about what a player earns. The contracts are signed. When someone is better than the other it is his time to play. But that is not the case with Ryan."

Rhein Neckar Zeitung also quotes Babbel saying: "You can't be more honest with a player. I have told him several times what I expect from him."

Ryan Babel received a second booking, and a red card, during his last match for Hoffenheim and later complained about the ref on Twitter: "I don't know, the ref was on drugs." This led to an investigation by the German FA. The £3.000 fine was the first in German football history for a tweet.