Joe Cole may have made more of a positive impact in his last few appearances than in the entirety of his Liverpool career previously, but despite the uptick in form most still expect the attacker will be shown the door at the first sign of another club showing any interest in picking up his wages. And when asked about the player, Brendan Rodgers was far from unequivocal when it came to Cole's future at the club beyond the end of the month.
"I’m just going along game by game," said the manager. "There is opportunity for every player. It’s not just about the games. Every player gets a chance every single day to show what they are all about. Unfortunately for Joe since the game against Young Boys when he created a goal and scored a goal he has been [injured].
"That’s unfortunate for him because someone else comes in and takes the opportunity."
When pressed directly as to whether or not Cole has any chance of a future at Liverpool, Rodgers added, "You would have to ask him. The guy is still a Liverpool player and while he’s a Liverpool player I’ll work as hard as I can with my staff to try to make him the best we possibly can.
"If he’s not going to play as often as he wants then he’s no different to any player really. Players are about game time and money. But he’s not any kind of problem, he’s a good guy and we will see what happens over the coming months."
"All I'm doing is giving my all in training every day, and trying to keep my place in the squad when we play Villa—that's all I can do. It has been difficult recently but I have scored in my last two appearances and I want to keep the sequence going if I can, and when I'm called upon I will do the best job I can."
It would obviously be unreasonable to expect either Rodgers or Cole to talk openly about the possibility of the player departing in January, but in truth their attempts to talk about his future in such terms as to allow the possibility of Cole remaining a Liverpool player only manage to sound noncommittal to the point of indifference.
Of course, Cole might still be around come February if a suitable destination cannot be found. However, it certainly sounds as though both the player and his manager are fully accepting that if there is a club out there willing to take on his salary he'll be on his way.