Babel finalises Hoffenheim move


BERLIN, January 26- Dutch striker Ryan Babel on Tuesday quit Premier League side Liverpool and finalised his transfer to Bundesliga team Hoffenheim on a two year contract for a fee of seven million euros (9.5m US dollars).

"I am looking forward to my new task at Hoffenheim," said the 24-year-old.

"My first impressions are very positive. I hope now to be able to quickly get into the team."

The former Ajax star could even make his Bundesliga debut on Saturday against Schalke 04.

"We are very proud to be able to sign Ryan Babel, an internationally experienced player from a top club like Liverpool," said Hoffenheim manager Ernst Tanner.

"We are convinced that he is a big addition for us with his character traits and his sporting qualities."

Babel replaces Senegal striker Demba Ba who has been loaned to Premier League side West Ham for the rest of the season after falling out with the German club when he refusing to attend Hoffenheim’s winter training camp.

Babel joined Liverpool from Ajax in 2007 and played 90 Premier League games for them but failed to win a regular place in the first-team, and had scored just twice in 17 appearances this season.

Capped 40 times he was in the Dutch 2010 World Cup finals squad, although he played no part in the impressive run that ended in a 1-0 defeat to Spain in the final.

Babel captured headlines earlier this month for the wrong reasons when he was fined 10,000 pounds (15,817 US dollars) by the Football Association (FA) over a Twitter post and warned about his future conduct.

The Dutch forward posted a link of a mocked-up picture of referee Howard Webb in a Manchester United shirt after Liverpool lost 1-0 at Old Trafford in the FA Cup.

Babel admitted a charge of improper conduct at a disciplinary hearing.