By Julian Shea

Former West Ham and England midfielder Joe Cole looks to be heading back to Liverpool next season following the end of his season’s loan at French side Lille.

Joe Cole heading back to Liverpool, says Lille coach

Newly-promoted West Ham had been linked with a move for their former youth team product but Lille coach Rudi Garcia says he expects the 30-year-old to be heading back to Anfield.

‘Joe Cole will stay at Liverpool,’ he said.

‘The new staff have decided to keep him. We will remember him very fondly as a player but also as a man.’

In his year-long stay in France, Cole scored four times in 27 appearances and played alongside Chelsea’s new signing Eden Hazard.

Cole’s Liverpool career never got going first time around, with the player admitting he was ‘startled’ by the culture shock of life at Anfield.

But the appointment of Brendan Rodgers, who worked with Cole during their time at Chelsea, may well have given him incentive to go back.

Rodgers has described Cole as ‘a wonderful talent’.