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Cole blames Chelsea politics

28 Jun 2010 - 11:21:22

Free agent midfielder Joe Cole has blamed "political reasons" for leaving Chelsea.

Cole, 29, was released on a free transfer by the Stamford Bridge club at the end of the last Premier League season.

The England midfielder had been locked in contract negotiations for much of the campaign but failed to reach agreement to extend his seven-year stay.

But speaking for the first time about his exit, Cole insists that non-football related issues were to blame.

"My season for Chelsea wasn't great for what I believe were political reasons rather than footballing reasons," he said.

"I love (manager) Carlo Ancelotti and have big respect for him. My leaving is not financial and it is nothing to do with Carlo. I love him and think he is a top guy and a top manager.

"I've loved my time at Chelsea and I love the fans but it is a story for another day and I will tell it. But now is not the time."

Manchester United, Arsenal, Tottenham and former club West Ham United are all reported to be interested in signing Cole on a free transfer.

He added: "Now I want to have a couple of weeks off, to sort my future out as soon as possible, to go on holiday with my family.

"Next season I want to have a fantastic season for England and for whatever club I am at.

"Wherever I go, it'll be a footballing decision. I want to play in a more central position and I want a manager who has faith in me. And I'm talking about club football here."


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