Liverpool midfielder Joe Cole is thought to be having a medical at West Ham ahead of his return to the club where he began his career.

Cole has started just nine Barclays Premier League games since he swapped Chelsea for Liverpool in the summer of 2010.

The midfielder has played the majority of his games with the Reds in cup competitions and was sent out on loan to Lille last term.

Reds boss Brendan Rodgers deemed the 31-year-old surplus to requirements when he took over last summer and Cole is keen to go back to Upton Park, where he began his career back in 1994.

Cole will have a medical at West Ham today and the London club hope to have him registered before midday Friday so that he can play in Saturday's FA Cup clash with Manchester United.

West Ham will not pay a transfer fee for the England international as Liverpool are prepared to cancel his contract.

The Merseyside club would also pay him a negotiated settlement in order to get his estimated £100,000-a-week salary off the wage bill.

Harry Redknapp, who managed Cole at West Ham, was keen to bring the player to QPR, but the Londoner has instead opted to return to his boyhood club.

"I lost Joe who would have been my first signing. He probably looked here and thought 'Harry I love you but you're not going to stay up'," Redknapp said Wednesday night following his team's shock 1-0 win at Chelsea.

"I like Joe and he would have been good for me. He's West Ham and they love him there. I thought he was coming for sure but West Ham came in today."

West Ham midfielder Sebastian Lletget welcomed the club's move for Cole.

He tweeted: "Training with my man Joe Cole today, top player, looking forward to it #whufc #coyi."