Joe Cole set to return to West Ham

By Giles Broadbent on January 3, 2013 10:52 AM |


Joe Cole could finally see the end of some traumatic wilderness years back with the club where he started.

Cole, currently with Liverpool, is expected to complete a move back to West Hame in time for Saturday's FA Cup tie with Manchester United at the Boleyn Ground. He must be registered by midday on Friday to be eligible to play.

The popular midfielder has struggled to land a regular place at Anfield following a free transfer move from Chelsea in 2010. He spent last season at French club Lille and, although he put a brave face on matters, Cole has been something of a forgotten star.

Fans gave him a hard time for leaving the club and going to London rivals Chelsea after relegation, but may be inclined to forgive him. He was applauded on his return to the Boleyn Ground in Liverpool colours and the muted celebration of his goal returned the show of respect.

He certainly goes with the best wishes of those who know him. Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers said: "It will be a terrific move for Joe."

And Harry Rednapp, who signed him at West Ham as an 11-year-old and failed to land him at QPR this time around said: "West Ham is his club and you will always associate Joe with them.

"That is where he started out. The fans will love having him back there and I wish him all the best because he is a fantastic boy."

A permanent move is necessary because Andy Carroll already occupies the one on-loan spot allowed from the same club.

Cole, 31, is on £92,000 a week and the reported £3million would be cheaper than the £7million required to hold him to the last 18 months of his four-year contract.