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Liverpool close in on 'money-led' Joe Cole after Chelsea exit

19 Jul 2010 06:35:59

Liverpool close in on 'money-led' Joe Cole after Chelsea exit

Joe Cole returned from holiday last night with the taunts of Carlo Ancelotti ringing in his ears that he had quit Chelsea for financial reasons. The England international is expected to make a decision on his future in the next 48 hours, with Liverpool favourites to secure his signature. Bookmakers yesterday suspended betting on Cole's next destination as Anfield boss Roy Hodgson confirmed he had held talks with the playmaker, though sources close to the player have denied any deal has been struck. On the move: Joe Cole is said to be motivated by money But that did not stop Chelsea boss Ancelotti from claiming cash had been at the forefront of Cole's mind when he rejected a new deal at Stamford Bridge. 'The problem was economic,' said Ancelotti, 'There is a problem between the club and Joe Cole, not me. We have spoken about this but when the problem is over money, then it is not my problem. 'This is the life of footballers. Cole, like Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti, did a fantastic job, but it's time to move on.' There is no doubt Cole's arrival on Merseyside would give Liverpool a huge boost. Hodgson confirmed initial talks had taken place, saying: 'I'm not a betting man so it doesn't even register with me that betting has been suspended. Blue no longer: Cole during his Chelsea days 'I know we have been connected with him and it is good to know that we are connected with players of that quality but I don't have anything further to report on the subject. 'I haven't had any discussions with him. Managing director Christian Purslow is the man looking after the transfers, not me.' The offer by the Anfield club, though, is not the largest on the table. The £4.5million-a-year package is £700,000 a year short of that on offer at West Ham. West Ham co-owner David Sullivan has always been reluctant to shell out huge sums on transfer fees, although he is less reticent about players' salaries. Spurs and Arsenal are also not out of the running and a switch to either would enable Cole to maintain an interest in Champions League football and not cause any major domestic upheaval. But the Hammers now look a distant fourth in the running and the midfielder seems set to make a mockery of Ancelotti's barbs and rebuff the highest offer to advance his career. Ancelotti also claimed that he is no rush to add Liverpool's Fernando Torres to his squad, saying he has sufficient firepower at his disposal without having to break the bank to land the Spaniard. Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder Javier Mascherano has still not responded to a voicemail left by Hodgson last week, which adds to speculation that he might be leaving to join Inter Milan.  Roy's stormy start: Boss sees his first Liverpool beaten by the weatherChelsea don't need Fernando Torres and Real Madrid can forget about Ashley Cole, says Carlo AncelottiInter Milan striker Diego Milito insists Javier Mascherano AND Carlos Tevez both fancy ItalyCHELSEA FC


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