Hoffenheim release Babel

Former Liverpool striker is being chased by Italian club

Ryan Babel: Hoffenheim striker is looking for a new challenge

Hoffenheim have released Ryan Babel after just over 18 months with the German outfit.

The 25-year-old joined the Bundesliga club in January 2011 for a fee of around £8million after an unfulfilling spell at Liverpool.

Babel scored six goals for Hoffenheim in 51 appearances but is now available as a free agent after his contract was cancelled.

A statement on the club's official website read: "Hoffenheim and striker Ryan Babel have agreed to the immediate termination of his contract.

"The 25-year-old Dutchman arrived in January 2011 at the club and scored six goals in 51 competitive games."

Babel's English representative, Dan Fletcher , who is the business partner of Babel's agent Winnie Haatrecht, confirmed Babel is leaving Hoffenheim as he looks to get his career back on track.

"Yes, I can confirm that Ryan has terminated his Hoffenheim contract and is looking forward to the next chapter in his career," Fletcher told skysports.com.

Fiorentina have been linked with the former Ajax starlet and are in pole position to clinch his signature.