Liverpool hope Cole Lille move gives them Hazard advantage on Arsenal

Liverpool do hope their deal with Lille for Joe Cole will grant them an advantage in their pursuit of Eden Hazard.

The Guardian says they agreed to pay 60% of Cole's wages during his season at Lille in an attempt to obtain first refusal on the Belgium international, Eden Hazard, should the French club elect to sell their coveted midfielder.

That request was rejected by Lille, although Liverpool retain hope that their £3m costs for Cole over the next 12 months will deliver an advantage in any future talks for Hazard.

Cole agreed to join the French club despite late interest from Aston Villa, having made only nine starts in the Premier League last season. Fenway Sports Group, which inherited the 29-year-old's £100,000-a-week contract, was keen to offload the midfielder but struggled to find a suitor.

Through the director of football Damien Comolli, Liverpool had used Lille's interest in Cole as a means to try to steal a march on their rivals, including Arsenal, for Hazard.

 
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