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Midfielders Joe Cole and Michael Ballack have been released by Chelsea as their contracts are due to expire this summer. Both will therefore be available as free agents in the summer transfer window. Ballack is widely expected to return to Germany at age 34 and nursing an injury that rendered him unavailable for what would have been his third World Cup. Cole is another story entirely. His career has been disrupted by catastrophic injuries in recent years after a brilliant start. His goal in the 2006 World Cup was probably the second best of the entire tournament (Maxi Rodríguez gets the nod because it was a match-winner in the knock-out rounds). At 28, Cole still has plenty to give a Premier League club willing to shell out big money. Harry Redknapp has referred to the signing of Cole at Tottenham Hotspur as ‘not impossible’ which at the moment is the most definitive anyone has been. Yet Manchester United and Arsenal are apparently keen on signing Cole as well.

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