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Liverpool tried to loan Cole from Hammers

Liverpool tried to loan Carlton Cole until Christmas because they couldn't finance a permanent deal unless they sold Ryan Babel, according to Soccernet sources close to the attempted transaction.

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Unable to sell Babel, they offered West Ham the alternative of a loan fee of £1 million plus Babel on loan for the same period. However, Babel wasn't keen on a move to Upton Park, and the Hammers were not interested in the unusual swap loan idea.

The approach to sign Cole took place at 3pm on the final day of the transfer window, just three hours before it closed, with Liverpool only prepared to offer the Hammers £9 million for Cole if they could sell Babel to Tottenham Hotspur for £10 million, but that deal eventually collapsed.

West Ham were left waiting for Liverpool to try to offload Babel, and as the deadline drew closer, the Hammers ran out of time to find a replacement for Cole.

Another deal in the melting pot that never reached boiling point was Spurs' interest in signing Scott Parker.

After an initial bid of £7 million was rejected out of hand, Spurs had threatened to come back with a player exchange deal or an increased offer, but again nothing materialised. Parker is now expected by West Ham officials to sign a new five-year contract to stay at Upton Park for the rest of his career.

Sunderland and Stoke also bid £9 million, plus £3 million in add-ons, for Cole, but the centre forward would only have quit Upton Park for a bigger club.

West Ham were made aware of Liverpool's interest, initially reported by Soccernet, only tentatively through third parties.


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