Liverpool signed England forward Joe Cole on a four-year deal, the Premier League soccer team said on its website.
Cole, 28, “has agreed personal terms with the Reds and will undergo a medical in the next 48 hours,” the club said on its website.
Cole was out of contract at his previous team, Chelsea, so there won’t be a transfer fee. He’d played more than 120 league games for West Ham, where he came through the youth setup, before joining the Blues in 2003.
During his seven-year spell at Chelsea, where he made about 180 league appearances, Cole helped the club win three Premier League titles. He’s represented England 56 times, scoring 10 goals, and came on as a substitute when the nation lost 4-1 to Germany in the round of 16 at this year’s World Cup.
Cole joins the Reds as new manager Roy Hodgson tries to rebuild a team that finished seventh in the league in the last campaign and failed to qualify for the elite Champions League. He’s the second signing during this off-season after forward Milan Jovanovic from Standard Liege. Ex-Liverpool player and coach Phil Thompson welcomed Cole’s arrival.
“I’m absolutely delighted,” Thompson told Sky Sports News. “We need that player, the catalyst between midfield and attack. It all adds up for me. Joe Cole has that bit of character, he can do something out of nothing.”
Earlier this month midfielder Yossi Benayoun made the reverse trip to Cole, joining Chelsea from Liverpool in a 5.5 million-pound ($8.4 million) deal.
There’s been speculation other players may leave Liverpool. Javier Mascherano has been linked with a possible move to Inter Milan, led by former Anfield coach Rafael Benitez, and there’s concern among Reds fans that Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres may want to go.
Cole didn’t agree on new terms at Chelsea at the end of last season amid news reports that the club regarded his wage demands as excessive. There’d been speculation linking him with clubs including Tottenham and Arsenal.
No financial details were disclosed in Liverpool’s announcement. U.K. newspaper the Guardian reported earlier today the club had offered Cole a salary of 90,000 pounds a week.
Hodgson is now preparing his team for a Europa League qualifier on July 29.