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Rediff.com  » Sports » Joe Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea

Joe Cole and Ballack to leave Chelsea

June 09, 2010 16:59 IST

Midfielders Joe Cole and Michael Ballack will leave Chelsea when their contracts expire at the end of the month, the Premier League champions said on Wednesday.

Cole, 28, who is with England at the World Cup, has been at the London club since 2003.

Germany captain Ballack, ruled out of this month's tournament in South Africa due to an ankle injury, arrived at Stamford Bridge in 2006.

The Premier League and FA Cup winners thanked both players for their contributions and said in a statement on their website (www.chelseafc.com) the pair would become free agents on July 1.

Cole ruptured cruciate knee ligaments in January last year, keeping him out for eight months, and has endured an erratic season in and out of Chelsea's double-winning side.

A move away from Stamford Bridge, with a fistful of top clubs likely to be jostling for his signature, is sure to revive his career.

A 6.6 million pounds ($9.53 million) signing from West Ham United soon after Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich bought the West London team, Cole won three league titles with Chelsea and was the club's player of the year in 2007/08.

He played 282 times for the club and scored 40 goals.

Ballack, ruled out of the World Cup after being injured in last month's FA Cup final win over Portsmouth, made 168 appearances and hit 25 goals after joining on a free transfer from Bayern Munich.

Chelsea said the 33-year-old German would stay with them for treatment at their Cobham training ground until his injury healed.

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