Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has opened the door to a Joe Cole return this summer.
The 30-year-old attacking midfielder was one of Roy Hodgson’s few purchases during a fateful reign at Anfield, with the England international signing on a free transfer in the summer of 2010.
After failing to impress for the current England boss – and then Kenny Dalglish – he was shipped out to French side Lille on a season-long loan last term.
But, after impressing in Ligue 1 for Les Dogues, the former West Ham United starlet could still have a future on Merseyside after new manager Brendan Rodgers admitted discussions with the player.
"I met up with Joe Cole when I was in Spain. I certainly know he's looking to come back. I've got to assess all the players,” Rodgers told the official Liverpool website.
"With the likes of Joe - he's a very talented player. He's obviously gone out to Lille and done very well and he has the opportunity to come back here and show his qualities.
"For me it's fresh for everyone. I'll be new into the club. Of course I know lots of the players and their qualities but Joe is obviously a player who'll want to come back and show his worth to the group.
"There are a lot of players I'm aware of and they wouldn't be at Liverpool if they didn't have the qualities.”
First things first for the Northern Irishman, however, is to get all the players together during pre-season, and assess their credentials moving ahead under his jurisdiction.
The ex-Swansea City chief built a fine reputation during his time at the Liberty Stadium, and will be looking to move forward quickly with the Reds in the 2012-13 campaign.
"I suppose going forward and over the course of pre-season I just need to decide the types of players who are going to fit into the function and the philosophy and the structure of the team.”