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Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Joe Cole opts to join Lille

ESPNsoccernet staff

Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole has joined French champions Lille on a season-long loan.

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Cole, 29, failed to impress at Anfield after making the move from Chelsea last summer and will now hope to prove himself in Ligue 1 and the UEFA Champions League.

The former England international travelled to France on Tuesday to undergo a medical and, despite a late bid by Aston Villa, the player has opted to move to the Stade Lille-Metropole.

"The club is pleased and proud that [we] have attracted a player of this magnitude," Lille said in a statement.

Liverpool have been very active in the transfer window to date, with Jordan Henderson, Charlie Adam and Stewart Downing all arriving at the club. And, having made just eight Premier League starts last season, and none this term, Cole has more chance of first-team football with Lille.

It was reported in France that Lille were prepared to allow Cole to continue living in England and commute the 90-minute journey from London to France by Eurostar, although it remains to be seen whether that will be an option.

It is also suggested that Liverpool attempted to negotiate a first-refusal option for highly-rated Lille winger Eden Hazard in the Cole deal.

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