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Carlton Cole linked with St Etienne

ESPN staff
July 29, 2013 « Live County Championship coverage | Chartbeat test »
Carlton Cole could be heading to France © PA Photos
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Former West Ham United striker Carlton Cole could be on his way to French League Cup winners St Etienne.

Cole, 29, was not offered a new contract by West Ham after seven seasons in London and recently saw a move to Crystal Palace fall through.

He was reportedly at St Etienne's training centre on Sunday and is close to agreeing a two-year deal with Les Verts, who finished fifth in Ligue 1 and qualified for the Europa League last season.

The French club's president confirmed that they are after another forward and that Cole is a possibility.

"That's a lead," Roland Romeyer told RMC Sport on Sunday. "We're in discussions so we'll see if we can conclude it."

St Etienne, who ended a 32-year wait for silverware last season, are keen to find a suitable replacement for Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang. The Gabonese striker, 24, was snapped up by Borussia Dortmund this summer after scoring 19 league goals in France last season.

Meanwhile Toulouse midfielder Franck Tabanou, 24, is due to undergo a medical at St Etienne on Monday, while another of their targets, Montpellier's Anthony Mounier, 25, was unhappy with how that deal went through.

"I knew I wasn't the number one choice and that Saint-Etienne were in discussions with Tabanou," Mounier told RMC Sport. "I met the directors. We agreed on a contract … and then suddenly I had no more news from Saint-Etienne until I learned that they had signed Tabanou. I'm annoyed with the way they handled it."

But Romeyer told the same radio station that Mounier was a player that Saint-Etienne liked a lot.

He said: "He's a player that we've known about for a long time. Last year we went to Nice to recruit him but in the end he chose Montpellier. This year, our coach targeted several left-sided players, of which Tabanou was the number one choice.

"He met Tabanou and it was complicated. Then we met Mounier's agent to discuss things. We got closer. But in the end the move for Tabanou was revived."

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