Joe Cole Lifts Liverpool Into Big League!

Joe Cole flew out to join his new Liverpool team-mates at their training base in Switzerland after agreeing an £80,000-a-week deal and being handed the club's coveted No 7 shirt by boss Roy Hodgson.

The 28-year-old England player, who was released by Chelsea last month, snubbed moves to Arsenal and Tottenham to sign a four-year deal with the Merseyside club and become Liverpool's second major acquisition since Rafael Benitez departed, following the arrival of Milan Jovanovic earlier this summer. Cole joined Hodgson's skeleton squad at their pre-season camp in Zug near Zurich. Meanwhile, his England team-mates Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher are expected back at the club's Melwood ground today for their first day of pre-season training. The pair will miss two friendlies against FC Grasshopper and Kaiserslautern this week and Gerrard is expected to meet Hodgson face-to-face after the weekend.

The former Fulham boss will then begin his task of convincing his captain, as well as Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano and Spain's World Cup-winning striker Fernando Torres, to stay at Anfield. Central to those talks will be the addition of former West Ham junior Cole, who turned down similar wage offers from Arsenal and Tottenham to join Liverpool, and who was linked with a move to Manchester United earlier in the close season.

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