Beşiktaş completes Babel signing
AA photoTurkey’s defending champion Beşiktaş has signed Dutch forward Ryan Babel on a two-and-a-half-year contract, it announced on Jan. 2.
The 30-year-old had been a free agent after coming to the end of a short-term contract with Deportivo La Coruna on New Year’s Eve, and returns to Turkey having previously spent two years with Istanbul’s Kasımpaşa between 2013 and 2015.
A statement on the Beşiktaş website said Babel, who has 42 caps for the Netherlands, would receive 1.2 million euros ($1.26 million) for the rest of this season and 2.1 million euros per year for the next two campaigns.
He will also get 4,000 euros for every point the team achieves when he plays.
Babel won two Dutch titles during two separate spells with Ajax and also played for Liverpool, Hoffenheim and Al Ain.
He was part of the Dutch side that reached the 2010 World Cup final but did not appear in any of the matches during the tournament.
Now he will be charged with helping Beşiktaş to overhaul unlikely leaders Istanbul Medipol Başakşehir and retain its title.
He has been part of the Dutch national football team since 2005, and has represented his country at all youth team levels.
Beşiktaş is also reportedly looking to sign the prolific Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o, following disappointing performances from his countryman Vincent Aboubakar.
Turkish media reports have speculated that Eto’o will join the club’s winter break camp in Antalya next week. The 35-year-old currently plays for Antalyaspor from Turkey’s south.
Premier League’s Hull City Mike Phelan boss was quizzed on a potential move for Eto’o following his side’s 3-1 loss to West Bromwich Albion on Jan. 2, which leaves them down in the 19th spot.
Phelan said it would be an “unbelievable challenge” for Eto’o should the striker join Hull City.
Eto’o scored over 100 goals in five seasons with Barcelona between 2004 and 2009 and is also the record holder in number of appearances by an African player in La Liga.
He is also Cameroon’s all-time leading scorer and third most capped player, with 56 goals from 118 caps. He announced his retirement from international football on Aug. 27, 2014.