Sunderland are set to step up attempts to sign Ryan Babel. Steve Bruce is keen to seal the deal before the close of the transfer window for the Liverpool miss-fit. Babel is desperate to leave Anfield in search of regular playing time and revive his bid for a place in the Dutch squad for this summer’s World Cup.
The stumbling block for Bruce could be the player’s reluctance to move to the North East. Having already turned down approaches from Birmingham and Galatasaray and is believed to prefer a move to Tottenham or Arsenal.
The 23-year old, who has represented his country at all levels, had expressed a desire to stay at Liverpool but, having been left out of the squad on a number of occasions, is keen to look elsewhere in search of first team action.
Having joined Liverpool for nearly £12million the Dutchman was seen as one of the hottest young prospects in World football. There is no doubting his potential however his form at Anfield has been mixed.
Liverpool are believed the value their player at around £11million but, with the looming financial problems at Anfield, it could be an offer slightly under that which prises him away.
Bruce is well aware of what Babel could bring to his side who have stuttered of late. Rafa Benitez is keen to add an extra striker as cover for Fernando Torres and has signalled an interest in Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones. Despite Bruce’s refusal to involve the Trinidadian international in a swap deal, with only 4 days left until the transfer window closes, it could prove the only option if he wishes to sign Babel.
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