Hoffenheim made to wait on Babel

Hoffenheim were on tenterhooks Wednesday waiting to hear whether they had managed to secure the services of Liverpool forward Ryan Babel.

On Tuesday it appeared the Bundesliga side had bagged their man after Liverpool had given permission for the Dutch international to join them. But 24 hours later Hoffenheim director Ernst Tanner suggested Babel was in contact with a number of rival suitors.

"He's got plenty of choice between several sides, I don't think we'll be getting a decision from him this week," Tanner told German news agency SID. "We're convinced that we are the ideal club for him in this present situation," he added.

He's got plenty of choice between several sides.
Hoffenheim director Ernst Tanner

Babel was expected in Germany to discuss personal terms with the side placed ninth in the German first division after Liverpool's announcement Tuesday that they had accepted a deal for the 24-year-old striker. Hoffenheim see him as the ideal man to replace outgoing Senegalese striker Demba Ba.

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