Carlton Cole to leave West Ham after seven seasons

 

Striker Carlton Cole will leave West Ham United this summer after the club decided not to renew his contract.

The 29-year-old has spent seven seasons at Upton Park but struggled for form in 2012-13, scoring only twice.

Cole's future at the club appeared in doubt as the club have agreed a fee to sign Andy Carroll on a permanent deal.

West Ham manager Sam Allardyce said: "Carlton's need at his age is to be playing football as often as he can. We felt it better he found pastures new."

Cole's West Ham years

  • Appearances: 237
  • Goals: 59
  • England caps: seven
  • Cole scored the opening goal in West Ham's Championship play-off final victory over Blackpool in 2012.
  • 2012-13 appearances/goals: 29/2

Cole, who has seven England caps, joined West Ham from Chelsea in 2006.

His last goal for the club was in a home defeat by Everton last December and he indicated on Tuesday on Twitter that he would be looking for a new club.

He said:  "Life is filled with ups and downs - today is a down but I'll be back! Carlton Cole has left the building.

"I came to east London not knowing what to expect but I'm glad I did. The last 7 years I've met a lot of good honest decent people. Thank you."

His departure was confirmed on the club's official website  on Wednesday.

West Ham's joint chairman David Gold tweeted:  "Good luck @CarltonCole1 - one of the nicest men I've ever met in football."

Meanwhile, the club have announced they are still in talks with midfielder Gary O'Neil, 30, over a new deal.

Allardyce said: "For Gary, negotiations are ongoing and that will be done between the chairmen and his agent now."