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Joe Cole's unhappy time at Liverpool to end with loan to Lille

Joe Cole's unhappy time at Liverpool to end with loan to LilleLille are on the verge of completing a season's loan for Joe Cole, thereby satisfying Liverpool's desire to save at least some of the 29-year-old's weekly wage of £90,000.

Cole has failed to recapture his best form since moving to Anfield on a much-heralded free transfer in July of last year. The England international has made only 11 Premier League starts since then, with his appearances coming largely in Europe.

After failing to feature in any of Kenny Dalglish's squads for Liverpool's opening three matches of this campaign, it was clear that Cole is deemed surplus to requirements. Dalglish supplemented the Liverpool midfield over the close season with the high-profile signings of Charlie Adam, Jordan Henderson and Stewart Downing.

Cole's salary, though, was always likely to prove problematic to those English clubs – Queens Park Rangers among them – who courted his signature.

The French champions have no such reservations. Lille, who are competing in the Champions League after winning their domestic title for the first time since 1954, are expected to announce Cole's arrival on Wednesday, thereby adding some much-needed experience to their squad before entering Europe.

Cole, previously of West Ham United and Chelsea, has played 56 times for England but has fallen out of the picture recently under Fabio Capello.

Lille had earlier been interested in the Monaco striker Park Chu-young, who is set to sign for Arsenal, and Chelsea's Yossi Benayoun; the latter player was coincidentally offered to Liverpool as part of a swap deal for Raul Meireles.

Bolton Wanderers are confident of signing another Liverpool player, the French striker David Ngog. Although a rival bid is thought to be forthcoming from another Premier League club, Bolton hope to seal the £4m arrival of Ngog before the transfer window closes.

Bolton's manager, Owen Coyle, has been a longtime admirer of Ngog and is now set to match the 22-year-old's Liverpool salary in order to tempt the player to the Reebok Stadium. Ngog has scored 19 goals since arriving at Liverpool in 2008 but, like Cole, has found himself outside of Dalglish's plans. Coyle has been keen to bolster his own attacking options after Daniel Sturridge returned to Chelsea from the Reebok Stadium at the end of a successful loan period.

Meanwhile, Liverpool have announced they have reached an agreement with the French side Evian for the transfer of Christian Poulsen. The Denmark international joined Liverpool on a three-year contract from Juventus 12 months ago under Roy Hodgson but has struggled to make an impact and has not been involved so far this season.

Poulsen, who had also been linked with a loan move to Espanyol, can now discuss terms with a view to completing the move.

Powered by Guardian.co.ukThis article was written by Ewan Murray, for The Guardian on Tuesday 30th August 2011 21.18 Europe/London

guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010


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