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Liverpool and Arsenal set for showdown

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Cole eyes permanent Lille stay

Lille playmaker Joe Cole is hoping to remain with the Ligue 1 club beyond this season.

Cole, 30, is currently on loan from Liverpool, but is enjoying a career renaissance with the reigning French champions.

Lille are in third place in Ligue 1 and looking a safe bet for Champions League qualification, which would enable the former Chelsea star to enjoy successive seasons playing at Europe's top table.

In contrast, his parent club Liverpool are eighth in the Premier League and Europa League football awaits them next season after their Carling Cup triumph over Cardiff earlier this year.

With Cole enjoying his football in France, he says he would be happy to leave the Premier League behind him as he waits to hear from the Reds.

"I would like to stay but it's not in my hands," Cole said. "I haven't spoken to anyone at Liverpool. I'm waiting to hear from them.

"I've been very well received here. I've discovered a new football culture and way of playing. The only thing I miss is the atmosphere in the Premier League. The level is similar."

Meanwhile, Cole is still in the running to play for Team GB at the 2012 London Olympics and hopes play in his homeland once more, saying: "Whenever I go home, I go right past the Olympic village."

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