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Don't make me go back to Anfield pleads Cole

ON-LOAN Lille playmaker Joe Cole is hoping to remain with the Ligue 1 club beyond this season - and snub a return to Anfield.

Cole (pictured below) is currently on loan from Liverpool, but admits he is enjoying his time with the reigning French champions and would be happy to leave the Premier League behind him as he waits to hear from the Reds.

"I would like to stay but it's not in my hands," Cole said. "I haven't spoken to anyone at Liverpool. I'm waiting to hear from them.

"I've been very well received here. I am happy here, my family too. I was well received and I love this team, but it's not me who decides. We need to see what the board decides.

"I've discovered a new football culture and way of playing. The only thing I miss is the atmosphere in the Premier League. The level is similar."

Liverpool have been forced to subsidise Cole's £130,000-a-week salary during his loan spell with the French champions, paying in the region of two-thirds of his weekly wage, but Cole has given an indication that he may be willing to take a pay-cut.

"The financial issue is important, but money is not the priority for me. I enjoy being on the pitch and that's the main thing."

Cole, 30, signed a four-year contract when joining the Reds from Chelsea on a free transfer in July 2010, but made just nine league starts in his maiden season on Merseyside.


He has fared rather better at Lille, making 33 appearances for Rudy Garcia's men and scoring four times. He was on target in their 4-1 win over Ajaccio last weekend, but admits he is still unsure whether he will be joining the club on a permanent basis in the summer.

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Chelsea have been allocated just 25,000 tickets each for their FA Cup final on May 5.

Although the FA would not comment, privately it stresses that the remainder will go to the wider football community from the grassroots of the game in England to the 763 clubs who entered this year's competition.