Reported in todays “Metro“
Joe Cole ‘to join Arsenal on free transfer after signing three-year deal’Joe Cole could be on the verge of making a shock move from Chelsea to Arsenal on a free transfer after rumours emerged today he has signed a three-year contract at the Emirates Stadium.
According to reports, Cole’s representatives met up with Arsenal officials yesterday to thrash out the terms of the deal while the midfield playmaker was being called up to England’s World Cup squad by Fabio Capello.
Barring any complications in the process the transfer is expected to be finalised next week, with a view to announcing the move before the tournament in South Africa begins in ten days’ time.
The rumours follow hot on the heels of comments by Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp earlier today, when he admitted he believes Cole has agreed in principle to a move to another Premier League.
‘It looks to me that someone’s going to make a great free transfer,’ Redknapp is quoted as saying.
‘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.
‘I’m a big fan of Joe’s, and I would be interested if he didn’t stay at Chelsea, but the feedback we’ve had is that he might well have already done something.’
If true, the news would be a huge boost for Arsenal fans still reeling from the revelation that captain Cesc Fabregas could be leaving the club to join boyhood team Barcelona this summer.
Cole’s signing also fits in with the Arsene Wenger transfer philosophy in that the England international would represent a shrewd bit of business.
The 28-year-old is out of contract at Chelsea and would be available on a free transfer.
And while his wage demands may have presented a stumbling block – given the Blues are reluctant to meet his expectations – Wenger is said to be more willing to offer larger contracts to players in a bid to build a title-winning team.
Former West Ham United star Cole is also believed to be keen to stay in London, as partner Carly Zucker has recently given birth to a son and is reluctant to relocate.