A choice for Anfield Boss Rafa Benitez to consider during his summer holidays.
Liverpool and Aston Villa have joined the race for Carlton Cole after it emerged last night that West Ham rejected a £10million bid for the striker.
The offer has come from Birmingham who are desperate to prise the England frontman away from Upton Park.
Birmingham boss Alex McLeish has spoken directly to Hammers chief executive Karren Brady about a deal made up of £8million cash with £2million in bonuses.
The offer was rejected out of hand by Brady, whom City believe is trying to spark an auction for the player.
The dismissal of Birmingham’s bid is all the more surprising given the fact that Cole remains one of the players West Ham insist they are willing to sell.
Indeed, co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan are understood to have been in touch with a string of agents in an attempt to get the best possible deal for the player.
Villa boss Martin O’Neill has been a big fan of Cole for some time and, in the last week, the club have contacted West Ham about putting together a deal.
Liverpool too have expressed an interest and remain keen despite the fact that Cole has been left out of Fabio Capello’s England squad for the World Cup.
Cole, 26, began his career with Chelsea in 2001. A highly-rated youngster, he was sent out on loan to Wolves, Villa and Charlton before joining West Ham permanently in 2006. (Daily Mirror)
As much as Carlton Cole has improved I am hoping that this bit of speculation can be consigned to the ‘not a hope in hell’ basket. Yes we need more attacking options and yes a big target man alongside El Nino would work well, but no, that man should not be the West Ham forward.
Rafa Benitez will surely be looking to bring in another forward to the club even though we do have Milan Jovanovic in the bag, we could still do with a proven top level marksman to carry Fernando Torres’ burden. Now I am not talking about crazy targets we can not possibly entice to the club, especially without being able to offer Champions League football, I am talking about a player like Roman Pavlyuchenko.
The Russian international is likely to be a bench warmer at White Hart Lane next term, even though the former Spartak Moscow went on a great run after Xmas scoring some vital goals. Peter Crouch and Jermain Defoe still look to be Harry Redknapp’s preferred pairing and stories about Pavyluchenko’s apparent unhappiness at the north London club should hopefully provoke some interest from our Anfield boss.
Remember that a couple of years ago when Euro 2008 was still fresh in everyones minds the big 28 year old was the toast of the town and he hasn’t become average overnight, he is simply a player that Redknapp inherited that he is clearly not that big a fan of.
What do my fellow Liverpool fans think of such a move?