Long- serving West Ham United striker Carlton Cole will part ways with the Hammers this summer after the club decided not to renew his contract.
The striker was instrumental to West Ham’s promotion last season, netting 15 times, including the opening goal in the Championship Play- Off final victory over Blackpool at Wembley a year ago.
According to West Ham official website, the 29- year- old will depart Boleyn Ground after seven seasons, during which he scored 59 goals in 237 appearances and became a firm favourite among Hammers supporters.
“West Ham United would like to thank Carlton for his hard work, goals and commitment over the past seven seasons and wish him every success in his future career,” a statement on the club’s website reads.
West Ham manager Sam Allardyce believes the striker will have to go find greener pasture elsewhere, as a player of his age will need to play regular football; which the club has not been offering Cole.
“Carlton’s contract has come to an end and we have decided not to renew that contract,” Allardyce said.
“Carlton’s need at his age is age is to be playing football as often as he can. From our point of view we felt it better that he found pastures new.
“We can only thank him for his outstanding commitment and service to West Ham United over the last seven years.
Carlton Cole scored his first goal of the 2012/13 campaign in the game against former club, Chelsea on December 1, when the Hammers came from behind to defeat Chelsea 3-1 at the Boleyn ground. The England international of Nigerian and Sierra Leonean descent has found his first- team opportunities limited by the arrival of on- loan Liverpool forward Andy Carroll.
Meanwhile, West Ham has completed the signing of Romania captain Razvan Rat on a free transfer from Shakhtar Donetsk.
The veteran left- back will join the Hammers on a one- year deal, with the club being provided an option to extend to two or three years, on July 1 following the expiry of his contract with Ukrainian champions Shakhtar Donetsk.