With Premier League football returning to Upton Park next season, West Ham have now set their sights on bringing Joe Cole back to the club he made his name at.
A breakout star under Harry Redknapp for the Hammers, Cole was part of the same youth team as Frank Lampard and Rio Ferdinand, before performing with the same players for the first team.
After high-profile switches to Chelsea and Liverpool though, the 30-year-old playmaker could now be set to return to Upton Park, as the Hammers aim to build a squad capable of comfortably avoiding relegation.
Cole spent a successful season on loan at Lille last season, as the French side finished third in Ligue 1, and will return to Liverpool this summer with uncertainty surrounding his future.
Kenny Dalglish’s exit from the club makes the chances of more concerted involvement appear greater, though it remains to be seen whether or not the new manager will wish to retain Cole’s services.
A loan move could prove a viable option for all parties, due to the excessive wage demands of the ex-Chelsea star, who is also wanted by newly-promoted Reading.
The midfielder still collects a hefty wage on Merseyside, but under the conditions of his loan spell in France, Liverpool still paid the majority of his salary during his time there.
However, the Hammers are in a healthy financial position overall, so could emerge as serious contenders for Cole’s signature on a permanent basis, should Liverpool prefer that option.
It is thought he would only command a fee of around £2million, after signing on a free transfer two years ago.
Cole meanwhile, is not believed to be the only ex-Hammer on Sam Allardyce’s radar in East London.
Nigel Reo-Coker, available on a free transfer, is also thought to be on his wishlist, whilst it is thought that he is also expressing an interest in Sunderland utility man Kieran Richardson.