LIVERPOOL: England midfielder Joe Cole has joined Liverpool on a four-year contract from Premier League rivals Chelsea, the Anfield club announced here on Monday.
Cole, 28, has agreed personal terms with the Reds and will undergo a medical in the next 48 hours, Liverpool said in a statement after signing the out-of-contract player.
He becomes the club`s second pre-season signing after Milan Jovanovic and is set to join a Liverpool team now being managed by ex-Fulham boss Roy Hodgson.
Cole won three Premier League titles and two FA Cups during a seven-year spell with Chelsea.
He made his name with Chelsea`s London rivals West Ham and has scored 10 goals in 56 England appearances.
Cole claimed unspecified "political rather than footballing reasons" had led to his departure from Chelsea back in June, but he insisted manager Carlo Ancelotti had nothing to do with it.
"It is not financial and it is nothing to do with Carlo," he said at the time. "I love Carlo. I think he is a top guy and a top manager.
"I loved my time at Chelsea, I love the fans but it is a story for another day and I will tell it but now is not the time."
Having been on the bench for much of England`s lacklustre World Cup campaign, Cole laid down his conditions to potential suitors while still in South Africa.
"Next season I want to have a fantastic season for England and whatever club I am at," said Cole.
"The next contract -- it will be a footballing decision. I want to play in a more central position and I want a manager who has faith in me."
Cole has effetively swopped clubs with Israel midfielder Yossi Benayoun, who earlier this month joined Chelsea from Liverpool in a 5.5 million pounds move.
Tottenham Hotspur, whose manager Harry Redkapp nurtured Cole`s early career at West Ham, and north London rivals Arsenal were also reported to be interested in the midfielder.
But even though Arsenal finished third last season and Tottenham fourth, Cole has joined a Liverpool team who ended the Premier League campaign in seventh place and who haven`t won the English title since 1990.
However, former Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp -- Harry`s son -- denied Cole had made his decision solely on the basis of his potential pay-packet.
"From what I know, compared to other players in the Premier League now, he`s not being greedy at all," Jamie Redknapp told Sky Sports.
"He just wants a good deal and rightfully so - he`s a free agent and he`s worked that situation nicely - but I know he`s not asking for anything astronomical, like what is being portrayed in the press.
"He`s just looking for the right club and he needs to play football now.
"He missed a lot of time at Chelsea last season with his knee injury and didn`t quite get back to the level he showed previously.
"He needs to go somewhere, be loved, and play football and get back to being the Joe Cole we all know."
BDST: 2048 HRS, JULY 19, 2010