Redknapp still confident of Cole deal

Free agent Joe Cole, strongly linked with Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal through the summer, has reaffirmed his desire to play regular football under a manager who has faith in him, while Harry Redknapp has again stated his confidence in signing the midfielder.

Cole, now 28, feels that he would now like to return to playing in a similar position to that he filled at his first club West Ham, while also claiming he has plenty to offer any potential new employer.

He said: "I'm thinking about my own future now. I want to play in a more central position, like I did at West Ham. I feel I've got a lot more still to offer and my best days are ahead of me.”

The midfielder, who has been linked with a move to Emirates Stadium and Old Trafford, as well as White Hart Lane, also believes he was not getting the chances he deserved in latter stages of his Chelsea career, a period beset by injury problems.

"I want the right kind of manager - a manager who loves me, who will put me in the team. At Chelsea there were players who could have two or three dreadful games before they were left out. I only had to have a dreadful 20 minutes and I was out."

Spurs have long been linked with the playmaker, and boss Harry Redknapp - often seen as a strong man manager - oversaw his development during his West Ham days.

Redknapp is aware competition for the player’s signature will be fierce, but remains adamant that his side has as much a hope of signing Cole as any other team.

"You know he's got lots of options, I think quite a few clubs want him," Redknapp said. "I had a great relationship with him as a kid; I signed him when he was 11 years of age.

"He lived for football - he was the best schoolboy footballer I have ever seen without a doubt.

"I feel there is a chance [of signing Cole]. I don't think it will be easy, but I think we have got as good a chance as anybody."

Tottenham starlet Gareth Bale has also admitted he would welcome Cole’s arrival at White Hart Lane, with the Welsh left-back citing Cole’s experience on the European stage as a desirable attribute.

“I think he is a great player and would be a great signing for us,” claimed Bale.

“If he did come obviously we would welcome him with open arms and his Champions League experience would be an important asset for us.”

By Nick Poyser

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