Transfer wrap: Cole nears West Ham return, Llorente in Juve sights
Joe Cole is on the verge of re-joining West Ham on a free transfer after arriving in London on Thursday to undergo a medical.
With Liverpool prepared to cancel his contract, the 31-year-old midfielder is expected to sign an 18-month contract in time to feature in West Ham’s FA Cup clash with Manchester United at Upton Park.
Cole, who came through the ranks at the Hammers and graduated to club captain before joining London rivals Chelsea in 2003, has struggled to establish himself in Brendan Rodgers’ squad this season, making just six substitute appearances.
In other transfer news on Thursday, Italian giants Juventus are in negotiations to sign Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente when his contract expires at the end of the season.
Juventus have long been linked with a move for the Spanish international, who confirmed shortly before the New Year he would be leaving the La Liga outfit in the near future.
And Bilbao have now confirmed Llorente is in talks with the Serie A champions.
Sought-after English international Theo Walcott is set to end months of speculation by committing his long-term future to Arsenal.
Both parties are confident Walcott will shortly put pen to paper on a deal that will run until 2017.
Everton defender Phil Jagielka has been rewarded for his fine form with a two-year contract extension, tying him to the club until 2017.
Stoke City captain Ryan Shawcross penned a new five-and-half year deal, while Swansea winger Wayne Routledge agreed a fresh four-year contract.
Arsenal defender Sebastien Squillaci, whose current deal expires at seasons end, is eyeing a move away from the club, with a January exit on the cards.
Anas Sharbini’s agent Ned Kujundzic claims the Al Ittihad midfielder is in talks to join Premier League side Tottenham.
Israeli midfielder Yossi Benayoun has returned to parent club Chelsea after completing his loan spell at West Ham.
Atletico Madrid have ruled out the possibility of selling Turkish international Arda Turan during the January transfer window, with the Spanish outfit determined to hold onto the attacker.
Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp confirmed the club’s intention to bring free agent Tal Ben Haim to Loftus Road for the remainder of the season, while Newcastle tactician Alan Pardew said Lille defender Mathieu Debuchy was poised to complete his protracted move to St James’ Park.