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Fulham sign former Liverpool star Babel

London, Wednesday @PeopleSports11

Former Liverpool forward Ryan Babel has signed for Fulham on a permanent deal from Besiktas until the end of the season.

The 32-year-old Dutchman made his name in the Premier League over three-and-a-half seasons with the Reds and is back in the English top flight on a short contract. Speaking to fulhamfctv upon signing, Babel said: ‘My first impressions are good and I’m very excited.

‘I definitely have faith that Fulham can stay up. That’s one of the reasons that I’m here, to try and help that to happen. I’m ready to go, I’m excited and I can’t wait.’

Fulham vice-chairman Tony Khan added: ‘Ryan has excelled at playing attacking football on both the club and international stage, and we welcome that experience as we build our squad for a strong second-half push with nine important home fixtures remaining, beginning Sunday when Spurs visit the Cottage.

‘Ryan scored 15 goals across all competitions last season and arrives with the support of our manager.

‘Claudio and I are confident that Ryan’s return to the Premier League there will be every bit as good for him as his addition will be good for our squad. Come on Fulham!’

Babel scored six goals and set up one in 19 games this campaign for Besiktas. He has enjoyed a varied career across the world, playing 146 times for the Reds between 2007 and 2011 before moving to Hoffenheim.

He then returned to Ajax before joining Turkish side Kasimpasa, Al Ain in the UAE and then Deportivo La Coruna. Fulham is in desperate need of a cutting edge in the final third and is currently five points from safety.

Meanwhile, Bayern Munich expects to keep James Rodriguez in the January transfer window but are yet to decide whether to sign him on permanent terms, according to sporting director Hasan Salihamidzic.

The Colombia international has been linked with a loan move to Arsenal after Gunners boss Unai Emery confirmed they can only sign players on a temporary basis in the mid-season window.

The move would involve Arsenal paying a loan fee to Real Madrid – who have loaned Rodriguez to Bayern on a two-year deal which ends this season – to have him at the Emirates Stadium until the end of the current campaign. Bayern would first have to terminate Rodriguez’s contract, but Salihamidzic is only weighing up whether to sign him permanently.

‘We will look at the second half of the season and we will draw the right conclusions,’ Salihamidzic said to Bild.  -DAILYMAIL

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