Liverpool make shock bid for England striker
Published 23:00 24/08/10 By Alan Nixon
Liverpool boss Roy Hodgson has made a shock move for West Ham striker Carlton Cole - offering £6 million up front for the hit man.
The Kop chief has reacted swiftly to the meek and mediocre defeat by Manchester City by slapping in an offer for target man Cole that has surprised the Hammers.
The Anfield club are willing to pay a big chunk in one payment for Cole and odd up to another £6 million after games and achievements in the odd package.
Hodgson and Liverpool's money men are concerned about Cole's injury-hit past and would like to protect themselves with the offer, but also come up with a figure that will eventually suit the Hammers.
West Ham have already turned down bigger deals from Stoke and warned them off, but they may reluctantly let Cole go before the window shuts to give Avram Grant cash for other players.
In Liverpool's favour as the talks over figures begin Cole will be interested in joining them rather than the Potters - or potential rivals Sunderland.
Stoke still want Cole despite landing Kenwyne Jones but their chances are slim while Liverpool are heading the hunt for the England international.
Sunderland are in the same boat.
Cole could become a hero on Merseyside if he fills the striker's jersey, ideally beside Fernando Torres but possibly as his replacement if a massive bid comes in any time soon.
Hodgson wants to wheel and deal after a mixed start to the campaign.
Torres cannot be relied on to run the front line on his own again and some of the other options look short.