Cape Town - Former England defender Ashley Cole said Tuesday he is looking for
"another journey" after announcing he will leave Chelsea after eight
years with the English Premiership giants.
The 33-year-old, who called
time on his international career after failing to make the England World
Cup squad, said in a Twitter statement that he will leave the club when
his contract expires on June 30.
"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," Cole, capped 107 times for England, said
in series of Twitter comments.
"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 of course the fans, how do I
start, I can only say thank u for giving the boys confidence to win some
amazing trophies, and once again.
"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," declared Cole, who later removed "Chelsea and
England left-back" from his Twitter biography.
Cole, long a lynchpin of the Chelsea and England teams, had become a fringe player in Jose Mourinho's squad this season.
Portuguese coach preferred Cesar Azpilicueta at left back for much of
the season in which Chelsea finished third behind champions Manchester
City and Liverpool.
Cole made just 17 Premier League appearances, his lowest total in a single campaign for the club.
He was in tears after the final home game, which now looks certain to have been his Stamford Bridge farewell.
former Arsenal man was one of a trio of experienced players whose deals
were up in the summer, along with Frank Lampard and John Terry.
Terry has since signed a one-year extension, but Lampard, 36 years next
month, is still undecided, with the midfielder's immediate focus on
England and the World Cup.
Since his move from Arsenal in 2006, he has won one league title, four FA Cups, the Europa League and, the Champions League.
being in the twilight of his career, eight clubs including Liverpool
and Real Madrid are reportedly interested in signing the defender, who
has however ruled out a move to the United States.