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Reading join chase for Joe Cole

January 01, 2013

READING are trying to hijack Harry Redknapp’s bid to sign Joe Cole.

QPR boss Redknapp, who gave Cole his professional debut at West Ham, is desperate to land the Liverpool midfielder to boost the Hoops’ survival hopes.

But the Royals remain hot on the trail of the former England star they first wanted to sign in the summer.

Cole, 31, has been told he is free to leave Anfield and is in talks over a pay-off package to cover the remaining 18 months of his £70,000-a-week contract with the Reds.

If a deal is agreed, Cole will leave on a free – and relegation-threatened rivals Rangers and Reading are poised with offers.

Rangers are set to offer Cole £30,000 a week, while Reading are prepared to go as high as £25,000.

But Reading are willing to ­offer Cole a two-and-a-half-year deal, while Rangers have tabled one for only 18 months. 

Reading are also after a new centre-half and striker in the ­January transfer window, but boss Brian McDermott insists wealthy owner Anton ­Zingarevich won’t break the bank to bring in new faces. 

McDermott said: “There is a perception that we have lots of cash to waste on cast-offs, which is wide of the mark. “The reality is that we will do the best that we can with the budget we’ve got.” 

Reading begin 2013 with a trip to ­Tottenham today, which comes ­after only their second win of the ­season against West Ham on ­Saturday. They are also buoyed by the fact Spurs ace ­Gareth Bale is ­suspended. 

McDermott said: “Tottenham are not a one-man team and whoever comes in for Bale will be ­another ­terrific ­player. 

“We got a bit of a break against West Ham, so maybe in 2013 we will get a few more breaks and it will be ­another memorable year.”


Source: DailyStar


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