Date: 18th February 2010 at 3:30pm
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Apparently, Joe Cole is still locked in a contract dispute with Chelsea and United are circling above, with the intention of snatching the 29-year-old on a free at the end of the season. Cole, who never really fulfilled his massive potential, has looked poor and off the pace in recent games but he might still be resurrected.

Is there any substance to this rumour? Yet to be seen but it would make sense: Joe Cole could play on the left or in the middle, as the most advanced player of a three-man midfield. In other words, he could replace either Paul Scholes or Ryan Giggs. United are in debt yet will need a central midfielder and a left winger – Joe Cole could fill both positions so we would only have to buy one of the two plus possibly a striker.

But there are big question marks. Joe Cole would probably ask for more money than what most of our first team regulars earn and though his talent is not in doubt, it is questionable that he can make an impact after crippling injury problems. Many of our players would be upset that a player like him, coming on a free, would earn more than them – it’s not worth to risk upsetting the dressing room.

Of course this is mere speculation: press reports indicates that his contract talks with Chelsea broke down because he requested a deal in the region of 100k/w which is frankly ridiculous. But considering the usual accuracy of press information, it might be that his actual demands are a lot more reasonable. All in all, I don’t expect him to end up at United but it would not look a bad deal at first glance if he had reasonable wage demands.