COLE COULD GET EA­GLES OUT OF HOLE

Daily Mirror - - SPORTS - BY DAR­REN LEWIS

CRYS­TAL PALACE are ready to step up their at­tempts to land free agent Carl­ton Cole to solve their striker cri­sis.

Roy Hodg­son has been hit by the loss of Chris­tian Ben­teke for at least six weeks with a knee in­jury.

The Bel­gium hitman had a scan on Mon­day, after suf­fer­ing lig­a­ment dam­age in last Satur­day’s 5-0 de­feat at Manch­ester City. Con­nor Wick­ham is also out in­jured un­til Jan­uary. Palace have no other recog­nised striker. Hodg­son is now con­sid­er­ing his op­tions with the Ea­gles sound­ing out Cole (above).

Con­tact is be­lieved to have been made with the ex-Wolves and As­ton Villa striker, 33, who was re­leased by In­done­sian side Persib Ban­dung last month. He last played in Eng­land two years ago with West Ham.

FRANCE DE­FENDER RAPHAEL VARANE, 24, HAS AGREED A NEW FIVE-YEAR CON­TRACT WITH REAL MADRID

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