Belfast Telegraph

Liverpool leading the chase for red hot Joe Cole

Joe Cole could be a Liverpool player by the end of the week after the Reds reportedly offered the midfielder a multi-million pound package to join Roy Hodgson’s Anfield revolution.

Cole, released by Chelsea at the end of the season after Blues coach Carlo Ancelotti claimed that the player’s wage demands were unreasonable, is believed to have been offered a contract by Liverpool which will earn him in excess of £90,000 a week.

The Reds’ financial problems have been well documented but the selling of Yossi Benayoun to Chelsea and Emiliano Insua to Fiorentina has brought in around £10m and some of that will be used to tempt Cole to Merseyside.

Arsenal, Tottenham and old club West Ham are also in the running, but last night some bookmakers suspended betting on him joining Liverpool.

Meanwhile, Hodgson has stressed he will not sacrifice the club's Premier League campaign for progress in Europe.

The Reds face a potentially-tricky Europa League third-round qualifier against Macedonian side Rabotnicki or Armenia's Mika later this month.

Hodgson is likely to have to play both legs, the first on July 29, without any of his World Cup stars after the club's medical staff warned him about forcing them into action too early after a gruelling and lengthy season.

“Possibly none of our World Cup players will play in the early Europa Cup games if we listen to the advice of the sports science people,” said the 62-year-old.

“They are telling me we would be very foolhardy to use players who have only been training for three or four days on the back of the World Cup that early on because that will affect us further on down the road.”.

Belfast Telegraph

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