Babel to leave Liverpool
RYAN Babel is expected to lead a summer exodus from Liverpool after voicing frustration at his peripheral role in Rafael Benitez's squad this season.Babel's future was already uncertain so a public complaint about his opportunities is unlikely to improve the Dutch winger's prospects at Anfield.
RYAN Babel is expected to lead a summer exodus from Liverpool after voicing frustration at his peripheral role in Rafael Benitez's squad this season.
Babel's future was already uncertain so a public complaint about his opportunities is unlikely to improve the Dutch winger's prospects at Anfield.
Babel has started only six of Liverpool's 32 Premier League matches this season, making 17 appearances as a substitute. He was restricted to a five minute run-out in the Champions League quarter- final, second leg against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday, with Ben�tez preferring to send on Albert Riera and David Ngog before him.
It has been a difficult campaign for Babel, who joined Liverpool from Ajax for �11.5million in July 2007, and it seems that his patience is wearing thin.
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“With this supporting role, I am not happy,” Babel said. “I have had three good talks with the trainer this season in which he indicated that I could not lose sight of the defensive aspect. It is my feeling that I have strongly improved, but still I get no real chance.”
Tottenham Hotspur were linked with a bid for Babel in January, but Harry Redknapp is unconvinced that the 22-year-old would merit a large outlay.
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Benitez is likely to listen to any significant offers for Babel and Andrea Dossena, who has failed to convince since his arrival from Udinese last summer.
Daniel Agger's position is also uncertain, with Barcelona joining Real Madrid and AC Milan in expressing tentative interest in him, but Benitez hopes to persuade the Denmark defender to sign a lucrative extension to his contract, which expires at the end of next season.
Benitez's priorities are a new full-back, a new winger and at least one centre forward, as well as the possibility of reviving his interest in Aston Villa's Gareth Barry.
Benitez originally identified David Silva, the Valencia forward, as the player to bring more flair to his attack, but the Liverpool manager conceded last night: “Our chief scout, Eduardo [Macia], was in Valencia and was talking with different people from the club, but someone was talking too much. So, at this moment, Silva is not a target. He is a good player, but not our target.”