Soccer-Cole bids farewell to Chelsea

Mon May 19, 2014 9:22pm EDT
 
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(Reuters) - Former England defender Ashley Cole has tweeted that his eight-year spell at Stamford Bridge is almost certainly over and he will not be playing for Chelsea next season.

Cole, who called time on his 107-cap England career earlier this month after being offered a standby spot in Roy Hodgson's squad for the World Cup, will be out of contract next month.

"I am weighing up my options for playing next season with my agent and sadly it does not look like Chelsea will be one of them," the 33-year-old posted.

"Thank u Chelsea FC for making my 8 years there a pleasure to work all the staff and players, we've been through a lot, good and bad.

"And now I'll be looking for another journey in my life hope it can be like my others full of fun and of course WIN something."

Although a divisive figure in England because of some of his off-field antics and pronouncements, Cole was considered one of the best left backs in the world at his peak.

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has said he would like to keep Cole for next season even though he preferred Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta in his defense for much of the recently concluded campaign.

Cole joined Chelsea from Arsenal for 5 million pounds ($8.41 million) and William Gallas in 2006 and has won one Premier League title, four FA Cups, a Europa League as well as the 2012 Champions League with the west London club.

($1 = 0.5943 British pounds)

(Reporting by Nick Mulvenney in Sydney; Editing by Ian Ransom)

 
Chelsea's Ashley Cole acknowledges the Chelsea fans during their English Premier League soccer match at Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, May 11, 2014. REUTERS/Rebecca Naden