Anfield midfielder keen on London return and Merseyside club interested in QPR playmaker, could this deal be thrashed out?
Joe Cole ‘offered to QPR’ in Liverpool swap bid for Adel Taarabt
Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish’s bid to make QPR star Adel Taarabt his first signing since taking over as permanent boss has been stepped up a notch with the news that he is prepared to offer marquee signing Joe Cole in part-exchange.
Taarabt lit up the Championship this season as he led Rangers to the title and a Premier League return, immediately sparking interest from a number of top clubs including Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea – as well as Liverpool.
The former Spurs youngster has been coy over his future in recent weeks, suggesting his head could be turned by a big-money move.
And Dalglish, who is determined to refresh the squad he inherited from former boss Roy Hodgson, has reportedly offered Rangers the option on playmaker Cole if they will allow talks between the Reds hierarchy and Taarabt’s agent.
Cole and his wife are said to be eager to return to London with their young family to be closer to their relations, having failed to settle on Merseyside since the 29-year-old made a free transfer switch from Chelsea 12 months ago.
The former England star’s exorbitant wages – believed to be in the region of £90,000 a week – could prove a huge stumbling block.
Interestingly enough QPR boss Neil Warnock moved to distance talk of such a deal occurring but rather than point out that captain Adel Taarabt, the West London club’s most important player, was not for sale, he merely suggested that the West London side could not afford Joe Cole’s wages. A claim that is hard to believe that the club is fronted by the world’s richest man.
There is no doubt that now the Loftus Road side have made a return to the Premier League that Flavio Briatore, Bernie Ecclestone and Lakshmi Mittal will give sufficient funding to keep the club in the top tier and if that means offering Joe Cole the wages he desires then so be it, the fact that Liverpool are ready to use the former Chelsea and West Ham man to help land Taarabt may make a great deal of sense, not least as the Moroccan has made it clear he could be tempted by a move to a ‘bigger’ club.
Liverpool’s director of football Damien Comolli knows Taarabt very well, having brought the youngster to White Hart Lane from Lens and the talented playmaker is just the type of player the Anfield side would be targeting as they look to make plans for the future.
The signings of Luis Suarez and Andy Carroll in January were a move to build a long term striker pairing and the emergence of academy graduates John Flanagan, Jack Robinson and Martin Kelly show that the club are beginning to see the fruits of their youth team labour paying off.
Any swap deal would clearly also involve Liverpool stumping up some cash for Taarabt who had a tremendous season in the Championship last term, during which he not only scored 19 goals but also finished with the most assists in the entire division.