Joe Cole is considering a move back to old club West Ham, according to reports, with the Liverpool midfielder continuing to disappoint upon his return to Merseyside this season.
Cole impressed while on loan for Lille last season, and though the French club had hoped to keep hold of the England international, a deal was never agreed and he made a return to England in the summer.
It was always going to be difficult for Cole to break into the Liverpool starting line-up, as Brendan Rodgers purchased midfielder Joe Allen in the summer transfer window and brought up youngsters Raheem Sterling and Suso into the first team, and so far the 31 year old hasn't impressed the incoming manager.
And after another lacklustre performance against Russian side Anzhi Makhachkala, the Daily Star is reporting that Cole could head to his boyhood club on a loan deal in January, where he would join exiled Liverpool teammate Andy Carroll.
Lille manager Rudi Garcia admitted last week that the Ligue 1 outfit would be interested in signing Cole, as Rodgers revealed his frustrations with the star's performances for Liverpool so far this season, but the club would struggle to pay for his services.
"Joe is not only a great person, but also a great footballer. But financially it was not possible to sign him," Garcia said.
"This can be prohibitive for the return of Joe to Lille. Sportingly and humanly, I'd love to see him back."
West Ham have signalled their intentions to keep Andy Carroll beyond this season if a deal can be worked out with Liverpool, and if that does happen the club will no doubt only be able to offer Cole a fraction of his current wage at Merseyside, believed to be around £100,000 per week.
But over the possibility of a loan, a source told the Star: "It's obviously not happening for Joe at Liverpool and being given the chance to get back to his best at West Ham would be ideal.
"Sam's squad isn't as strong as it might be so a move would suit both parties in the short term."