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Football: Joe Cole released by West Ham

Former England midfielder Joe Cole confirmed on Wednesday he has left West Ham United after his contract with the Premier League club expired.

LONDON: Former England midfielder Joe Cole confirmed on Wednesday he has left West Ham United after his contract with the Premier League club expired.

"I'm a free agent now and I'm looking for a new club," the 32-year-old told talkSPORT radio.

"My relationship with West Ham is great, but obviously it didn't work towards the end of this season. I didn't play enough."

Cole returned to West Ham, his formative club, on an 18-month contract in January 2013, but he was used sparingly during the season that has just finished and last started a league game in December.

"I'm just going to take my time over the summer and find the right fit," he added.

"At this stage of my career, finances are not important for me. I want to enjoy my football, I want to compete, and I just want to play more."

A skilful attacking midfielder, Cole joined Chelsea from West Ham in 2003 and won three Premier League titles during his time at Stamford Bridge, as well as becoming an England regular.

After injuries cost him his place in the Chelsea first team, he joined Liverpool in 2010, but the move failed to reignite his career and he was loaned to French side Lille for the 2011-12 campaign.

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