Former England international in line for shock French move.
Released West Ham United striker Carlton Cole is lined up for a shock switch to French side St Etienne as the two are currently holding discussions, Sky Sports reports.
The 29-year-old is now a free agent and has previously been linked with moves to Crystal Palace and Hull City, but the Premier League new boys both look to be distancing themselves from negotiations as they fear that his wage demands may be too high, forcing them to look for cheaper alternatives from overseas.
However, he has since emerged as a surprise target for the Ligue 1 side as they look for a replacement for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who joined Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund earlier this summer.
It is believed that Cole is intrigued at the prospect of playing Europa League football after the club enjoyed a strong season and qualified for the competition next term.
Cole came through the ranks at Chelsea in 2001, where he was viewed as a hot prospect. However, he failed to establish himself as a regular at Stamford Bridge and loan spells with Wolverhampton Wanderers, Charlton Athletic and Aston Villa followed.
He joined West Ham on a permanent deal in 2006, where he has spent the past seven seasons that has seen him bag 48 goals for the club and collect seven England caps in the process.