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."
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