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Cole signs for Reds

Cole meets Roy Hodgson at Liverpool's Swiss training camp

Less than an hour after posting the previous story about Joe Cole, his signature was announced on Liverpool’s official website. In a surprising move, Joe Cole has agreed a four-year deal to go to Anfield subject to a medical. While the signing isn’t quite as strange as seeing Michael Owen join Manchester United last summer, Chelsea fans will no doubt be spitting at the thought of losing the man who has won three Premiership medals in seven seasons for the Blues.

Liverpool fans will not only be licking their lips at the thought of the skillful player joining but will also have their hopes raised that the signing could persuade the likes of Gerrard and Torres that their futures lie on Merseyside. While Cole has had an injury-plagued 18 months, he is still only 28 and to sign on a free transfer represents excellent business for Liverpool. It will also go a long way to persuading fans that Roy Hodgson has what it takes to bring big names back to the club and Cole is a big departure from recent free signings including Andriy Voronin and Philip Degen.

Chelsea, who shelled out £5 million for Yossi Benayoun to move the opposite way last month, say Cole’s wage demands were too great. However the midfielder is thought to have agreed on a £90,000 per week deal which seems to contradict those claims, particularly when players like Drogba and Terry would be paid far more already. Liverpool legends Phil Thompson and Ian Rush have been among those to welcome the signing, with Thompson saying itprovides a positive start for a new era at Liverpool. While it’s been a horrendous six months for Liverpool fans, this news will at last give them something to smile about, particularly when other clubs including Tottenham, Man City and Arsenal were believed to be interested in signing the versatile midfielder.

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