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Liverpool reject Birmingham's 8m bid for Ryan Babel

Liverpool's Ryan Babel
Babel has failed to live up to his promise after moving to Liverpool

Liverpool have turned down an £8m offer for Ryan Babel from Birmingham City, BBC Sport understands.

The Reds bought the 23-year-old Dutch winger from Ajax for £11.5m in July 2007 but he has struggled to hold down a regular first-team spot.

Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez has publicly insisted Babel is not for sale and turned down Ajax's attempt to take him on loan in January 2009.

Babel has made three starts in 10 Premier League appearances this season.

A lack of first-team action could harm his chances of making Dutch manager Bert van Marwijk's 2010 World Cup squad.

The pacy 6ft winger has scored five times in 37 international matches for the Netherlands.

His signing would be a coup for Birmingham as boss Alex McLeish looks to dip into money made available following the takeover of the Midlands outfit by Carson Yeung in October 2009.

It has been reported McLeish will have up to £40m to spend, although this figure would include wages and not purely transfer money.

McLeish has guided his side to an impressive first half of the season and they are currently eighth in the Premier League table, just one point behind Liverpool.

606: DEBATE
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If Benitez was persuaded to sell, he would want to recoup as much of the original transfer fee as possible.

Babel, who is believed to be a target for other English clubs, would fit into Birmingham's set-up as a left-sided frontman or midfielder.

However, it is understood he remains keen to play for a club which is in the Champions League after Liverpool made an early exit from this season's competition.

In a question and answer session with fans on his official website a week ago, Babel indicated he wanted more support from the Anfield heirarchy.

"I have faith and confidence in myself but others need to have those as well to give me a chance," said the player.

While McLeish knows he has money to spend, it is thought that three new recruits might satisfy his needs in the January transfer window, with the bulk of spending in the summer.

Babel made his international debut for the Netherlands in March 2005 at the age of 18 and became his country's fourth youngest scorer when he netted after coming on as substitute in a 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Romania.

He joined Liverpool from Ajax on a five-year contract in July 2007, and scored in last season's Champions League quarter-final win over Arsenal and the semi-final defeat by Chelsea.

Babel missed Euro 2008 with an ankle injury.



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see also
January football sales
01 Jan 10 |  Premier League
Benitez rules out sale of Babel
02 Jan 10 |  Liverpool
Babel fails in Ajax loan move bid
09 Dec 08 |  Liverpool
Liverpool complete Babel transfer
13 Jul 07 |  Liverpool
McLeish not ruling out Scots raid
09 Dec 09 |  Birmingham


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