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Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez rules out sale of Babel

Rafa Benitez and Ryan Babel
Benitez signed Babel for 11.5m in 2007 from Ajax

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez has ruled out selling Dutch forward Ryan Babel in the January transfer window.

The 23-year-old Babel joined from Ajax in 2007 for an £11.5m fee, but has failed to start regularly and has been linked with a move away from Anfield.

"He (Babel) will have a chance to play," said Benitez after his side's 1-1 FA Cup draw with Reading.

"He has to work hard. He's our player and he will have his chances. At this moment we are not trying to sell him."

The Netherlands striker, who is currently sidelined with an ankle injury, has often found himself playing out of position on the left flank and has scored just nine league goals since arriving at Anfield.


In December 2008 Babel tried and failed to engineer a loan move to former club Ajax.

Benitez refused to be drawn on the possibility of Dutch pair Ruud van Nistelrooy and Rafael van der Vaart arriving from Real Madrid, only saying it would be "very, very difficult" to sign players this month.

Newspaper reports have linked the Dutch pair with loan moves to Liverpool, while speculation has also focused on the possible departures from Anfield of Andriy Voronin, Andrea Dossena and Philipp Degen.

Voronin has been on holiday in Miami over the Christmas period, having been frozen out by Benitez since a disappointing appearance in the Champions League draw in Lyon.

Atletico Madrid's winger Maxi Rodriguez and Greece international full-back Vasil Torosidis have also been linked with moves to Liverpool.

Liverpool are short of cover at right-back with Glen Johnson out for up to two months with a knee injury, while 19-year-old Martin Kelly is also currently sidelined.

Asked if he was considering signing a full-back, Benitez said: "Yes, we are working hard (on transfers) and trying to do our jobs, and we'll see if we can do something.

He added: "We are looking in the market but it's not easy to find good players available because the majority of them are playing in top sides. But we are trying to find solutions if we can.

"We have some good players who people are interested in because they're not playing too many games for us, but we have to manage carefully."

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see also
Reading 1-1 Liverpool
02 Jan 10 |  FA Cup
January football sales
01 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Johnson faces month out of action
31 Dec 09 |  Liverpool
Babel fails in Ajax loan move bid
09 Dec 08 |  Liverpool
Benitez fears Babel Olympic call
09 Jul 08 |  Liverpool
Babel could recover in five weeks
02 Jun 08 |  Netherlands
Liverpool complete Babel transfer
13 Jul 07 |  Liverpool
Babel cool on Arsenal 'rumours'
26 Jun 07 |  Arsenal

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This is Anfield Babel staying & Rafa rules out Ruud - 16 hrs ago
ITN Benitez: 'Signing players will be very hard' - 20 hrs ago Benitez scouring transfer market - 39 hrs ago
RTE Online Liverpool target Van Nistelrooy - 42 hrs ago
ESPN Star Benitez: I am scouring the world - 45 hrs ago