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Joe Cole and Michael Ballack To Leave Chelsea

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Joe Cole and Michael Ballack To Leave Chelsea
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Chelsea have announced that Joe Cole and Michael Ballack will leave the club.

Both are out of contract at the end of this month, and the club was unable to negotiate fresh terms with the pair.

Cole, who arrived at the club from West Ham United in 2003 for £6.6 million, is rumoured to be interesting the likes of Arsenal, Tottenham, and Manchester United.

In all, he made 282 appearances for the Blues, scoring 40 goals.

"Chelsea Football Club can confirm that Joe Cole will be leaving the club upon the expiration of his contract at the end of this month," read a statement on the official club Web site.

"It brings to an end Joe's seven-year stay at Stamford Bridge, and we would like to thank him for his dedicated years of service and wish him well in his future career."

Cole struggled to win a place in manager Carlo Ancelotti's side after spending a year on the sidelines with a knee injury he suffered in January 2009.

Media reports suggest he was looking for wages in the region of £100,000 a week. This fell short of the club's offer of £80,000.

Ballack, meanwhile, arrived in West London on a free transfer in 2006, and went on to make 168 appearances and find the net 25 times.

"The midfielder has spent four years at Chelsea, and all at the club would like to place on record our thanks for his service and wish him luck for the future," read a similar statement.

He is reported to have wanted a two-year deal, with the club only willing to extend his contract by a year.

Cole is set to play for England at the World Cup, which kicks off on Friday.

Ballack, meanwhile, will miss the tournament after picking up an injury in the FA Cup final against Portsmouth, his last game for the club.

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