Hodgson targets Cole as Benny replacement

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New Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson will make a last ditch attempt to lure former Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole to Anfield, according to reports.

The former Fulham manager has already seen Yossi Benayoun make the switch in the opposite direction and wants England international Cole to replace the Israeli.

Cole, however, is keen to stay in London, with Arsenal and Tottenham making public their interest in the former West Ham playmaker.

A Liverpool source told The Sun: “Roy knows he faces a tough job in persuading Joe to move north.

"But he sees him as the ideal playmaker to shape a new era at Anfield and hopes the player will be excited by this new challenge.”

Hodgson faces a fight to keep hold of his best players after Fernando Torres’ agent indicated he may not stay at Anfield and Manchester City and Chelsea are stepping up their interest.

Various reports suggest Roman Abramovich has flown to South Africa in order to seal a £50 million deal while City are prepared to offload fringe players in a cash-plus-player exchange for the Spain international.

Hodgson will not have a big budget to work with unless players are offloaded and he is thought to be considering a £6 million bid for Wigan left-back Maynor Figueroa.

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Joe Cole
Premier League

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