According to claims from several media outlets, Joe Cole is to sign for Arsenal on a three-year deal.
The England international supposedly declined a new Chelsea contract due to lack of playing time and high wage demands.
But Arsenal have reportedly offered the 28-year-old a hefty sign-on fee to compensate any lowered salary.
Asked of his opinion on the idea of moving for Cole less than a month ago, Arsène Wenger responded:
“Joe Cole is an interesting target, but do I have enough players in those positions? We shall see,”
Any deal completed is unlikely to be announced too soon with Fabio Capello restricting his England players from engagement in transfer talks ahead of the World Cup.
Meanwhile, a couple of Chelsea blogs have already conceived that Joe Cole has been lured by Arsenal.
From ‘Chelsea Daft’:
“Rumours are circulating today that Joe Cole is about to sign a three year contract to join Arsenal. I must admit, I never thought that Arsenal would be able to afford Joe’s wages after his supposed wage demands at Chelsea (£120K per week). If the rumour is true then Arsene Wenger has got a bargain and let’s face it would suit Arsenal’s style of play.”
“Joe Cole is hours away from announcing that he is joining north London rivals Arsenal. The mercurial midfielder who is clearly unwanted by Chelsea will be doing all he can next season to dethrone the heroes of the Double. Cole, 28 is believed to have agreed to sign a £110k a week three year-deal.”
Today’s speculation follows claims by interested Spurs boss Harry Redknapp that Cole might have agreed a move elsewhere already.
“It looks to me that someone’s going to make a great free transfer. I genuinely don’t know who that is, but I don’t think it’s going to be Tottenham. I’ve got a feeling – and I may be wrong – that he’s already agreed a deal with someone,”