Babel in Gunners visit
By Gerrit van Leeuwen & Jeffrey Glorie
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Ajax youngster Ryan Babel reportedly visited London to watch Arsenal this month.
Ajax youngster Ryan Babel reportedly visited London to watch Arsenal in the Premiership earlier this month.
Reports in Holland have suggested that the 20-year-old took advantage of the Eredivisie's short winter break to watch The Gunners in action and meet with officials from the North London club.
The youngster's agent confirmed that Babel made the early January trip to London, but insisted his visit to Arsenal was as a fan and not to negotiate a move away from the Amsterdam giants.
The former Ajax trainee, who is under contract until the summer of 2008, is talking with his current club about an extended deal, having previously stated his intention to stay with his present employers.
The striker has also interested Premiership side Newcastle United, but it is unlikely that Babel will move away from the Amsterdam ArenA before the end of January.
Meanwhile, Ajax defender Zdenek Grygera is unlikely to move to Juventus before the end of January.
The Czech Republic international is due to join the Turin giants on a free transfer, but Juve made a move to seal the former Sparta Prague player's switch early.
However, Ajax were rumoured to want é¼2million (£1.32million) to release Grygera from his contract this month, and Juve have opted to wait until the summer to bring the player to the Bianconeri.
"The player himself wants to come as soon as possible, but Ajax wanted too much to release him with immediate effect," said Juve general director Cobolli Gigli.