Craig Bellamy
Craig Bellamy has re-joined Liverpool on a two-year deal. REUTERS REUTERS

Liverpool clinched the signature of Craig Bellamy late on Wednesday night as Kenny Dalglish rounded out a productive transfer window with a fire-sale of fringe players.

The Anfield club finalised their summer business by offloading Joe Cole, Christian Poulsen, David Ngog and Philipp Degen, with a late bid from Chelsea for Raul Meireles also surprisingly accepted.

In a repeat of Fernando Torres' £50m January switch, Meireles submitted a written transfer request late on Wednesday evening, with Liverpool agreeing a fee with Chelsea for £12m before the 11pm cut-off time.

While Meireles had never been identified as a potential sale under Kenny Dalglish, the Portugal international failed to start any of the club's opening three games and had become increasingly unsettled on Merseyside after the board failed to re-negotiate an improved contract this summer.

The 28-year-old, who signed a four-year deal at Stamford Bridge, briefly worked with Andre Villas-Boas at Porto last summer.

Liverpool's wage bill was further improved following the departure of Joe Cole to Lille on a season-long loan. The Anfield club had failed to identify a suitor for the 29-year-old all summer but on Wednesday the French side agreed to pay 60 per cent of his £100,000-a-week wages, for a season at least.

"I always wanted to go to play abroad," Cole told the BBC. "I love football, I love watching it, I love talking about it. This is a great experience and a challenge to play for a team who wants to progress. This seems a very positive place."

His exit completes a key feature of the Fenway Sports Group's summer transfer strategy - reducing the club's substantial wage bill. Earlier this summer, Milan Jovanovic joined Anderlecht and Alberto Aquilani was sent out on loan to AC Milan. Yesterday, Evian signed Christian Poulsen, while David Ngog was sold to Bolton.

Deadline day saw Dalglish finalise a prolific summer with the capture of Uruguayan defender Sebastian Coates and Manchester City forward Craig Bellamy.

Bellamy, who played for Liverpool for one season under Rafael Benitez in 2006-07, has signed a two year contract. He had two years remaining on his City contract but, having found himself marginalised under Roberto Mancini, is believed to have accepted reduced personal terms to finalise a return to Anfield.

The Wales international scored nine goals in 42 matches during his previous spell with the club.