Liverpool accept bid for Ryan Babel

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The Independent Football

Ryan Babel is set to leave Liverpool after the club announced they had accepted an undisclosed bid from Bundesliga side Hoffenheim for the Dutch striker.

Babel has been given permission to travel to Germany and discuss personal terms with his prospective new employers.

He has struggled to nail down a first-team place at Anfield and was again on the bench on Sunday during the derby draw with Everton.

Babel was yesterday fined £10,000 and warned about his future conduct for posting comments and a doctored picture of referee Howard Webb on Twitter.

About his lack of first-team chances, the 24-year-old said: "For a player of my age it is important to be playing week in week out."

According to Germany's Bild newspaper, the two clubs have agreed on a fee in the region of seven million euros and Babel is set to fill a void which has emerged in the attack this winter.

"Following the departure of (Demba) Ba and the injury to (Chinedu) Obasi, we were in an emergency situation," said Hoffenheim's owner Dietmar Hopp.

"Babel was one of the prime candidates who our general manager Ernst Tanner was most convinced about."

Babel could make his debut against St Pauli on Sunday, should the deal be completed in the next few days.

However, the player himself earlier spoke of his hope for a loan move back to Ajax - and stated that deal could form part of Luis Suarez's potential transfer to Liverpool.

Babel indicated he wanted to return to the club he left for Anfield in 2007 to get regular first-team football.

Liverpool are reported to be interested in Uruguay striker Suarez, who scored three times at the 2010 World Cup before his infamous sending-off for a goal-line handball in the quarter-final against Ghana.

"The transfer of Suarez to Liverpool opens the door for me to go to Ajax," Babel was quoted as saying by De Telegraaf newspaper.

"If Liverpool and Ajax - whether in combination with Luis - can reach an agreement over me I will surely come to the club. For the chance to play I am willing to settle for far less pay."

Babel cost Liverpool in excess of £10million when he arrived from Ajax but he failed to convince both Rafael Benitez and then Roy Hodgson of his ability to cut it in the Barclay Premier League.

Now caretaker manager Kenny Dalglish has decided he can do without the Dutchman, even though his side are only four points off the relegation zone and face fellow strugglers Wolves on Saturday.

Babel, who has scored 22 goals in 146 appearances for Liverpool, now looks to have played his last game for the club.