Mar 25, 2011

Aston Villa And West Ham Battle Over Liverpool Flop

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Anfield club look to offload high-earner with Villa Park or Upton Park his most likely destination.

Aston Villa and West Ham United are leading the chase to buy Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole.

The 29-year-old moved to Anfield on a free transfer last summer but has struggled to adapt to life on Merseyside.

He has suffered injuries and a drop in form meaning he has not established himself in the starting line-up. Kenny Dalglish has opted to use the likes of Maxi and Dirk Kuyt out on the wings and this has led to even fewer first team opportunities than under Roy Hodgson.

Liverpool are willing to listen to offers for the England international to get him off the wage bill.

Cole is believed to be earning £90,000 a week and manager Kenny Dalglish wants to free up that money for a new signing.

Villa boss Gerrard Houllier would welcome the playmaker into his squad as he searches for a replacement for the Manchester United-bound Ashley Young.

The Frenchman sees Cole playing just off striker Darren Bent, a position that is sure to attract the former Chelsea player.

Cole could also make an emotional return to his boyhood club West Ham.

Manager Avram Grant is keen to work with him again after a brief spell together at Stamford Bridge.

Cole is still loved by the Hammers faithful and would welcome him back with open arms but any deal will depend on the Irons avoiding relegation.



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