Babbel: United and Spurs tracking Stuttgart talent

Former Liverpool defender Markus Babbel - now manager of VfB Stuttgart - believes his top players are being tracked by both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur, according to the News of the World.

Stuttgart, who finished third in the Bundesliga last season, have been unable to replicate that form in 2009/10, with Die Roten currently languishing in 16th place having won just two of their 13 league fixtures.

And the former Liverpool and Bayern Munich defender - who saw his side win at Rangers in the Champions League on Tuesday - believes the pressure has increased as his stars have become January transfer targets for England’s bigger clubs.

“Even for us, in the German league it isn’t easy to hold on to our star players,” he said.

“I know for sure every week we play, Manchester United, Tottenham and other English clubs are watching our games.

“So many English teams are turning up at our games every week now, watching our players.

“If they go to the Premiership, Spanish league or Italian league they realise they will make much more money than in the Bundesliga.

“It’s not easy to build a fantastic team and hold it together in these circumstances.”