It has been confirmed today that Joe Cole is leaving Chelsea this summer after the club and player failed to come to an agreement on a contract.
With every month that has passed, my opinion that Cole was set to leave the club became more and more likely to happen. This will be the last big contract of his career, given that he is now 28-years-old, so it stands to reason he wanted reasurrance over his future. As it stands, like I thought, the club didn’t want him enough to offer a decent enough contract and the player didn’t want to stay enough to accept less money.
Cole has every right to feel frustrated, given that he has conducted himself in a very respectable way over the past few months. Whilst Chelsea rewarded John Terry’s “sleepless nights” over City with a massive £135k a week contract and Frank Lampard’s desire to join Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan with a £150k a week contract, Cole, who hasn’t even attempted to flirt with other clubs like these ‘Chelsea legends’, hasn’t been offered what he wanted.
Cole was a great player and has the potential to be once more. His best game of the season, since recovering from his injury, was probably at Old Trafford against United, where he scored a clever goal. Whilst his form hasn’t been impressive, you can’t help but think he would be worth the gamble, given that signing for a new club would galvanise him.
So, now we have a question of where he is going to go, with Arsenal, Spurs and United the most likely destinations. Meeting his wage demands, rumoured to be £100k a week, wouldn’t be so much of an issue for any of these clubs, given the money they would save in landing him on a free.
According to the press, Arsenal are the favourites, with their manager alluding to some interest back in May.
“Joe Cole is an interesting target, but do I have enough players in those positions? We shall see,” Wenger said.
Harry Redknapp hasn’t been so subtle, with him telling the papers yesterday he definitely wanted Cole at Tottenham.
“Yes, I am prepared to declare my interest in Joe Cole,” he said. “Why not? He is a great player, his contract is up and he is on a free transfer. When he returns from the World Cup with England I would love to talk to him about coming to Spurs.”
In contrast, our manager hasn’t said anything about Cole publicly, although is a known admirer of the player.
So that just leaves the England camp, the only place he is going to get advice on his future between now and when he has to start making his mind up. The picture above was taken last Friday.
Arsenal don’t have any English players in the squad, whilst Spurs are represented heavily with Ledley King, Aaron Lennon, Michael Dawson and Jermaine Defoe. However, if former Spurs lad Michael Carrick lets Cole know just how much better life is at United, and Wayne Rooney lets on about how happy he is, will Joe be persuaded?
Watch this space.