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Europa League round of 16 draw

Europa League
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Lille to offer Cole escape

Lille boss Rudi Garcia would be willing to bring Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole back to the club during the January transfer window.

Since returning from a loan spell at Lille, Cole has barely featured for Brendan Rodgers and has only played 35 minutes in the Premier League this season. Cole was a big success in France during his loan spell there last season and helped the club - at the time reigning Frech champions - qualify for the Champions League for a second season in a row.

Garcia was eager to sing Cole's praises, but admitted that his reported £90,000-a-week wage was a reason for not taking him on permaently last summer.

"Joe is not only a great person, but also a great footballer," Garcia said. "But financially it was not possible to keep him. This can be prohibitive for the return of Joe to Lille. In both a sporting sense and a human sense, I'd love to see him back."

Earlier on Monday, former Lille midfielder Yohan Cabaye revealed Cole should consider a move back to France.

"It worked well for him at Lille. I've heard that Rudi Garcia would be interested to have him back," said Cabaye.

Cole and Liverpool head to Moscow on Wednesday for their Europa League game against Anzhi Makhachkala on Thursday. Steven Gerrard and Luis Suarez will stay behind to rest for Sunday's trip to Chelsea.

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