Cole puts future plans on hold

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Joe Cole is determined to shelve any thoughts about his future until after the World Cup.

Chelsea confirmed on Wednesday morning that Cole's seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge had come to an end, leaving him free to find a new club in time for next season. Tottenham, whose manager Harry Redknapp guided Cole through his formative years at West Ham, currently head a queue that also contains Arsenal and both Manchester clubs.

Yet the least interested person in discussing his future is Cole himself. "Chelsea is not a distraction," he said. "My agent is doing it. That is what he is there for. I don't want to be told what is happening until after the World Cup."

He added: "The manager doesn't want any distractions - and rightly so. You only get a few chances in your career to win a World Cup. Next year will sort itself out.

"The World Cup is so important; for the punters, for the players and myself. Every minute of the day is taken up with doing the best that I can at this World Cup."

For a vast portion of this season, it appeared as though Cole would have all summer to contemplate his next move.

With his Chelsea contract running down, the 29-year-old struggled to establish himself in Carlo Ancelotti's plans and when he was omitted from Capello's squad for the March friendly with Egypt on the grounds of poor form, there was real doubt over Cole's presence in South Africa.

Ancelotti does not seem to have done him any favours this season though, bringing Cole back in January when he lost players to the African Nations Cup then relegating him to the status of bit-part performer when they all returned.

"In football, everyone has opinions and it is difficult for managers," he said. "There were times at Chelsea last year when I got back to my best, when I had four or five games in a row in January.

"But I am one of those players that I need to play games continuously. I am back to my best now - and I want to show it."

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Tottenham Hotspur
Joe Cole
Premier League

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