As an England international and proven Premier League goalscorer, Cole was not expected to be without a club for long after leaving Upton Park at the end of his previous contract.
Sides from the top two tiers in England were quick to cast an eye in his direction, while an opportunity to head for France presented itself at one stage.
No paperwork was to be completed, though, and Cole was left in footballing limbo.
West Ham offered him the chance to spend time training with them, as he worked on his fitness, and Sam Allardyce was impressed enough to bring him back into his injury-ravaged plans.
Cole is now hoping to put himself back in the shop window, with his long-term future still unclear, but claims a lack of transfer activity over the summer was not for a lack of trying on his part.
He told the Daily Mirror: "I nearly signed for St Etienne, but there were a few things we needed to wrap up and it didn't materialise in the end.
"I was close to going to QPR, so I was getting ready for that.
"I had Nottingham Forest and a few other teams in the Championship interested.
"Hull City in the Premier League too, so I did have a few teams. Crystal Palace was a big one was well."