Rafa coy on Babel transfer talk

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Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez has neither ruled in nor ruled out a January departure for Dutchman Ryan Babel.

Birmingham had an £8m bid turned down earlier in the week for the 23 year old but are reported to have returned with a £9m offer.

Speaking at the Friday press conference at Melwood, Benitez said “We have received some offers but the player was clear the other day when he told me he wants to stay.

“We have to wait. I was not telling him he could go, just that we were receiving offers because he’s a good player. That’s the situation at this moment.

“At this moment everyone knows Ryan has the potential and he can improve.”

Yesterday Babel’s agent said “We know Liverpool are thinking seriously about the amount Birmingham have offered. We need to look at how Birmingham’s squad is being built up, how the prospects for future success appear and listen to what the manager has to say.”

“Ryan would still like to be successful with Liverpool. If the people at Anfield feel it is better for him to leave…we would consider a deal if both clubs come to an agreement.”

Speaking after the Reading match last week Benitez said “He (Babel) will have a chance to play. 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.”

Babel arrived at Anfield for £11.5m in 2007 from Ajax. He has started just two league games this season.