Babbel confirms interest in Wiese
Mr. Babbel, what is the nature of Hoffenheim's interest in Tim Wiese?
If Germany's no.2 goalkeeper is available on a free contract, like Wiese is, then I think we will try hard to thrash out a deal for him and convince him that we are a good club to join. He has a lot of experience, has managed to perform consistently over a number of seasons and is a recognised international. I think he is an excellent goalkeeper.
But nothing has been signed yet?
That's correct. The situation is that he hasn't signed anything because there are no offers on the table for him yet. But he is aware of our interest in him. We willl sit down in the next few days and try to pursue it, and hope that he decides to come to us.
When do you think a decision will be made?
Some time in the next week I would say. There are other clubs that have enquired about him.
This can't be an easy situation for TSG's current goalkeeper Tom Starke. Have you spoken to him at all?
Yes I have. He reacted in a very professional way, which is exactly what I had expected. The nature of our conversation will remain a private matter. But in professional football, one thing is always certain: there will be competition for every position. Players have to accept and acknowledge that.
Tim Wiese said a few weeks ago he wanted to join a club that would be challenging for the Champions League. Does that affect your approach for him?
No. Competing for the Champions League will definitely be within our reach in the coming seasons. I am a manager that his hungry for success, but to do that, you need players of a certain calibre. Our goal is to try and build a squad with quality and depth.
TSG are perceived to have been rather thrifty with their finances in recent times. Considering the signing of Mathieu Delpierre, contract extensions of Tobias Weis and Sejad Salihovic and your desire to sign Wiese, is that phase now at an end?
It's not that we are throwing money out the window; we aren't deviating from our philosophy. We have a lot of players in our squad – too many, in my opinion. Ideally, after reducing the squad a little, I can begin to shape it into a competitive group of players.