Updated: Wednesday, 21 May 2014 01:52 | By Agence France-Presse

Cole looking for new challenge after Chelsea exit

Former England defender Ashley Cole said Tuesday he is looking for "another journey" after announcing he will leave Chelsea after eight years with the Premier League giants.


Cole looking for new challenge after Chelsea exit

Chelsea defender Ashley Cole gestures to Chelsea fans following an English Premier League football match against Cardiff City at the Cardiff City Stadium on May 11, 2014 - by Ben Stansall

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.

The 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.

The 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.

Captain 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.

Despite 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.

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