Liverpool are set to step up their interest in Carlton Cole despite being knocked back earlier this week in their pursuit of the West Ham striker, according to the Metro.
The Reds had been considering making an offer of around £8 million for Cole, after manager Roy Hodgson admitted his admiration for the forward.
However, West Ham made a dramatic u-turn yesterday after the former Chelsea youngster bagged an impressive brace against Manchester United in the Carling Cup.
And now Liverpool are believed to be willing to offer Anfield outcast Ryan Babel to the Hammers as well as cash to tempt them into selling.
During the summer there were rumours that Liverpool winger Babel had been in a helicopter on his way to Upton Park to finalise a similar swap deal but that never materialised.
And Babel later revealed he had always wanted to stay at Anfield but has been frozen out of the first team picture and Juventus have also expressed interest in the 23-year-old.
New Liverpool owner John W Henry has already revealed money is there for Hodgson to bring in one world class player but the rest of his signings in January will have to be funded by selling others.
And, with Cole not being the marquee signing Liverpool feel they need, Hodgson will have to get his value down to an affordable amount.
West Ham manager Avram Grant, though, will not let his striker leave on the cheap after he helped the Hammers destroy Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.
The Boleyn Ground faithful will hope that game will be the catalyst for Cole’s season and will fire him on to the kind of form he has shown that has earned him international recognition.
Manchester City, though, have also been linked with a move for the striker after the news that Emmanuel Adebayor could be on his way to Italian giants Juve.
The Eastlands club will reportedly be on the look out for a new striker and have ruled out any big money deals are in the pipeline for Roberto Mancini's side.
Man City, could prove too strong competition for Liverpool, though, if they do follow up on the interest which is being reported by ESPN.