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Liverpool sign England star Cole

Joe Cole in action for Chelsea during last season's Premier League-winning campaign.
Joe Cole in action for Chelsea during last season's Premier League-winning campaign.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Joe Cole signs for Liverpool on four-year deal after release from Chelsea
  • Cole won three league titles and two FA Cups in seven years at Stamford Bridge
  • England international Cole is Roy Hodgson's first signing as Liverpool manager
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(CNN) -- Liverpool have signed England midfielder Joe Cole on a four-year deal following his departure from Premier League rivals Chelsea.

The 28-year-old agreed personal terms with the Merseyside club on Monday and will undergo a medical in the next 48 hours, Liverpool announced on its official website.

Cole arrives on a free transfer after his contract at Chelsea expired, with UK newspapers reporting that he will earn a salary of $137,000 per week.

Cole is Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson's first signing and signals his intent to steer the Reds back into the European Champions League.

The club, who won the last of their 18 league titles in 1990, finished a lowly seventh last season, missing out on the four Champions League qualification spots.

Cole won three league titles and two FA Cups during a seven-year spell with Chelsea. Prior to that, he played for east London club West Ham.

He has scored 10 goals in 56 games for England and represented his country at the last two World Cup finals.

Hodgson, who led Fulham to the Europa League final last season, was named Liverpool manager on July 1 after Rafael Benitez departed and subsequently joined Inter Milan.

The signing of Cole may help Hodgson's efforts to persuade Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano to stay at the club.

Spanish World Cup winner Torres has been linked with a move to Barcelona or Chelsea, captain Gerrard is reported to interest Real Madrid, while Argentina captain Mascherano is a reported target for Benitez at Inter.

Liverpool, who have not won a trophy since the FA Cup in 2006, begin their Premier League campaign at home against Arsenal on August 15.