Lille manager Rudi Garcia has admitted that he would like to bring Joe Cole back to the club after the midfielder made a big impression during a season-long loan.

Cole spent last season at the Ligue 1 side where he was a regular starter, making some 42 appearances in total and scoring nine goals.

Joe Cole
Cole became a firm fan favourite while playing for Lille on a season-long loan [Reuters]

The French club had hoped to keep the Liverpool midfielder but his wage demands made it impossible for Lille to offer him a contract and pay a transfer fee.

Cole duly returned to Liverpool where he has had a nightmare spell since leaving Chelsea in the summer of 2010. The 30-year-old made just 20 league appearances in his first season at Anfield, the vast majority coming from the bench, and was only able to score two goals.

He received a red card on his debut for Liverpool and it is never really improved, with his last display coming in the Capital One Cup loss to Swansea where he was hauled off at half-time.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers gave a damning assessment of his appearance in the League Cup and speculation has increased that he will be sold in the January transfer window.

Lille would seemingly like to take the player back to France, however, much will depend on whether Cole would be prepared to take a pay cut in order to gain regular first team football.

"Joe is not only a great person, but also a great footballer. But financially it was not possible to save him," Garcia told French radio station RMC, as reported on Sky Sports.

"This can be prohibitive for the return of Joe to Lille. Sportingly and humanly, I'd love to see him back."

Cole's contract with Liverpool does not end until the summer of 2014 and he is believed to be on a wage of around £100,000-a-year, well outside the means of Lille.