Joe Cole signs for Liverpool, is Remy coming soon?

Transfer Talk: Arsene Wenger is keen on Everton defender Jagielka, and by the way, Cesc Fabregas is staying

Chelsea Joe Cole

Just two weeks into his stint at Anfield, Roy Hodgson today announced his first Liverpool signing, that of Joe Cole, and if noises emanating from France are to be believed then Nice striker Loic Remy could soon follow.

Liverpool released a statement this afternoon confirming the signing of Cole on a four-year deal. The England midfielder's signing might be considered something of a coup as, despite coming for free, he is a like-for-like replacement for Yossi Benayoun for whom Chelsea paid Liverpool £5 million.

Meanwhile according to L'Equipe, Liverpool have been in touch with Ligue 1 team Nice to discuss an offer for their star striker Loic Remy.

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Gilbert Stellardo told the French rag: "If Liverpool make an offer things will be done swiftly."

Meanwhile Hodgson continues to streamline the squad he inherited from Rafa Benitez with Emiliano Insua being offloaded to Italian club Fiorentina for £5m. The 21-year-old Argentine defender spent three years at Anfield but never quite adapted to the hurly-burly of the Premier League.

And another Red who might soon be on his way out is Albert Riera, with Olympiakos offering Liverpool £4m for the Spanish winger. It's believed Liverpool will sell but would like the Greek side to up their bid to £5m.

It takes a lot to rile phlegmatic Frenchman Arsene Wenger but the Arsenal manager came close to losing it on Saturday when quizzed yet again about Cesc Fabregas and his possible move to Barcelona.

"Now the story has to stop," said an exasperated Wenger when asked if Fabregas will be running out for Arsenal this coming season. "Cesc is our captain, he is so important to us. We want to keep him."

Earlier in the summer Barcelona offered Arsenal £30m for the 23-year-old World Cup-winning star, but the Gunners turned down the bid with a reminder to the crass Catalans that there are some things in life that money just can't buy.

And with new Barcelona president Sandro Rosell admitting last week that the club has to respect the wishes of Arsenal, it appears that Fabregas will be back at the Emirates, much to the satisfaction of Wenger who is clearly fed up with the speculation surrounding the midfielder.

"We have shown our love and care for Cesc since the start," Wenger told reporters after Arsenal's weekend friendly against Barnet. "I believe Cesc loves the club, has shown his attachment to the club many times and I am very confident the story will end there."

And Wenger had a message for Barcelona a propos Fabregas: "We always had a consistent attitude and were always reluctant to talk about Cesc's departure. It is very important we give the impression that just because somebody wants a player from us, we do not just give in."

In between lecturing Barcelona on decorum and watching Arsenal put four past Barnet, Wenger also took time to deny the club was on the brink of signing Fulham keeper Mark Schwarzer for £4m. Asked if he was interested in the Aussie shotstopper, Wenger replied: "Not really," though he did go on to admit he was "still active in the transfer market".

And according to the Daily Star, much of that activity centres on Everton defender Phil Jagielka. The paper says that Wenger wants to pair the 27-year-old Jagielka with new signing Laurent Koscielny – who made his first appearance in an Arsenal shirt against Barnet – and he's prepared to fork out £18m to fulfil his ambition.

Reports at the weekend said that Wenger's initial bid of £14m for Jagielka had been declined by Everton, so now the Gunners boss has withdrawn a further £4m from his savings and will make the Toffees an offer they'll find hard to resist. The Star says Everton boss David Moyes wants to keep Jagielka at Goodison but apparently the player himself fancies testing himself in the Champions League with Arsenal.

And there's more bad news for Moyes if the Daily Mail is to be believed. The paper says that Inter Milan are chasing midfielder Steven Pienaar. The South African international is well known to new Inter boss Rafa Benitez from his days coaching Liverpool, and he sees Pienaar as the sort of player who can strengthen the spine of the Champions League holders.

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Bill Mann is a football correspondent for The, scouring the world's football press daily for the popular Transfer Talk column.