Carlton Cole to leave West Ham after seven seasons

Carlton Cole

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, 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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