Joe Cole in limbo as Chelsea confirm midfielder's Stamford Bridge exit

09 June 2010 05:56
Joe Cole is heading into England's World Cup campaign without a club after Chelsea confirmed the midfielder has been formally released. 

Cole, who arrived at Chelsea from West Ham in 2003, is available on a free transfer but will not be holding talks with any club while England are still involved in South Africa.

Michael Ballack will follow Cole out the door and former Chelseaboss Jose Mourinho is reported to be keen to take the German midfielderto Real Madrid. The Blues have also confirmed Juliano Belletti will be released.

Freebie: Joe Cole in training with England at Rustenburg

At England's training camp today, Cole said: 'I'm just focused on the World Cup at the moment, I'll leave that sort of thing to my agent.

'My future will sort itself out. It's been going on a while. It's a story to be told another day.'

A statement on the Blues' official website read: 'Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Joe Cole will be leaving the club upon the expiration of his contract at the end of this month.

Where to now? Cole's future will not be sorted out until after the World Cup

'It brings toan end Joe's seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge, and we would like to thank him for his dedicated years of service and wish him well in his future career.'

Tottenhammanager Harry Redknapp confirmed his interest in Cole.

Fresh start: Ballack is leaving the Blues

He told talkSPORT: 'I think that Daniel [Levy], the chairman, has spokento Joe's agent and he said that Joe didn't want to discuss any moves until after the World Cup. Then he's going to look at his options. 

'But he's told us that he hasn't decided anything yet and he hasn't done anything definite. So there's a chance. 

'I suppose it all depends on the financial side of it and everything else, but according to his agent he's not made up his mind yet.'

The 28-year-old has also been linked with Manchester United, Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City.

Ballack's agent, Michael Becker, today claimed the player, who is on holiday in Miami, was 'completely surprised' by the news.

'He has not spoken to Chelsea for three months,' added Becker to German broadcaster RTL.

Becker said Ballack would have been willing to take a pay cut to stay with Chelsea and that he would even have accepted a one-year deal with an option for a second year based on appearances.

Upbeat: Cole spoke after England's training session on Wednesday

Germany coach Joachim Loew revealed Ballack is not short of options for his future.

Loew expects the former Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich midfielder to find a top club in the coming weeks.

'I am certain that Ballack will play two or three more years at the top level so he will certainly not be thinking of ending his career,' said Low. 'He has lots of opportunities, and he told me this in Sicily. 

'He even has some concrete offers from different clubs in different leagues. I think when you see what condition he was in recent months for Chelsea then it is clear he will play at the highest level for two to three more years.'

 Cole and Ballack released by Chelsea as free transfer frenzy kicks offPremier League transfers: Club-by-club guide to every deal in summer 2010Out-of-contract Ballack emerges as target for new Real boss MourinhoFergie vows to snatch Premier League title back from Chelsea next seasonCHELSEA FC

Source: Daily_Mail

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
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