• Ligue 1

Cole open to permanent Lille deal

ESPNsoccernet staff
January 1, 2012
Joe Cole is enjoying his loan spell in France © Getty Images

Lille midfielder Joe Cole has hinted he would like to make his move to France a permanent one when his loan deal from Liverpool expires at the end of the season.

Ex-England international Cole struggled to make an impact at Anfield following a free transfer from Chelsea in July 2010 but has rediscovered his form at Lille, helping the club to an unbeaten 17-game run this season.

The 30-year-old has made 15 appearances for the Ligue 1 champions so far, scoring three goals, including one in Les Dogues' final match before the winter break, a 4-4 draw with Nice at the Stadium Lille Metropole.

Cole, who has moved his family to France, now sees himself becoming a more permanent fixture at Ligue 1's third-placed side.

"I'm really happy at Lille," Cole said. "If things continue like this, it would make sense for me to stay. I've started well here and I'm going to keep getting better and better."

Cole has also urged highly-rated Lille forward Eden Hazard, who is one of the most sought after players in Europe, to stay at the club.

He said: "The best thing is for him to stay at Lille for as long as he can. He's playing for a good club, winning titles and there's plenty of time [for him] to go elsewhere. The fans love him, the players love him and we want him to stay."

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