Cole confirms leaving Chelsea with Liverpool and Real Madrid waiting
Ashley Cole has confirmed that his future lies elsewhere and that he will leave Chelsea at the end of the season. The former England international is out of contract after June and it has been speculated for several months now that he will leave the club.
Cole has played very little first-team football in the second half of the season, as José Mourinho has used right back Cesar Azpilicueta in this position. Cole did show towards the business end of the season – especially in the away leg against Atletico Madrid – that he still can deliver at the top of the game. However, it does not seem to have convinced the Chelsea that he is indeed the way going forward.
The 33-year-old captained the team in the final match of the season against Cardiff. It will now be his last appearance for the blues, the club he joined in 2006.
Cole has stated that he will sit down with his agent and discuss the options. It has been widely speculated that Liverpool and Real Madrid could be the next destination for the 33-year-old, who announced his international retirement only a few weeks ago. Roy Hodgson decided not to take the experienced campaigner, who holds the English record for the most number of appearances by a left back at 107, over the youth of Luke Shaw.
Cole will have little regrets about leaving Chelsea after having enjoyed eight spectacular years during which time he lifted eight trophies. The collection includes two European titles and one Premier League medal.
After having failed in the previous two Champions League finals that he was part of, Cole finally managed to lift the most coveted trophy in club football in 2012.
Frank Lampard is the other Chelsea player out of contract and his future still remains in doubt.