Lennox parts ways with Pilgrims

BY foxsports • January 22, 2013

Barcelona captain Carles Puyol has signed his contract extension at the club, extending his stay until 2016.

Barca announced before Christmas that Puyol, along with Lionel Messi and Xavi, had committed their long-term futures to the club and 34-year-old defender has put pen to paper on a deal which ties him to the Nou Camp until June 2016.

The Spain international came up through the youth ranks at Barca before making his first-team debut during the 1999/00 season and then becoming club captain in 2004.

During his time at the Nou Camp, Puyol has helped Barca win a host of trophies, including five Primera Division titles, three Champions Leagues, two FIFA Club World Cups and two Copa del Rey crowns.

Cole's previous deal was set to expire at the end of the season and at one stage he was expected to leave Stamford Bridge.

However the 32-year-old, linked with Real Madrid and Paris St Germain recently, has agreed fresh terms at the club he joined from Arsenal in 2006.

Cole said on the club's official website, www.chelseafc.com: "I am pleased I will be starting my eighth season at Chelsea.

"I wanted to stay at Chelsea because we are always fighting and challenging for trophies.

"That desire and the will to want to win things have not gone."

News of the deal being agreed emerged on Saturday, and confirmation that Cole has now signed up provides a boost on the eve of the Capital One Cup semi-final second leg at Swansea, where Chelsea must overturn a two-goal first-leg deficit.

Cole has played 293 games for Chelsea, 11 of them as a substitute, and has scored seven goals since his controversial move across London.

The 99-cap international has won one Premier League title, four FA Cups, one League Cup and was also part of the team that defeated Bayern Munich in last year's Champions League final.

Twice a winner of the Chelsea Players' Player of the Year award, Cole is still considered one of the world's best left-backs and his retention could go some way to appeasing fans upset at the likely departure of midfielder Frank Lampard come the end of the season.

Cole added: "I have great memories here and I enjoy coming to training every day. The staff are amazing and I enjoy training with the lads.

"I have been able to fulfil nearly all my ambitions at Chelsea. I have won the Champions League, the League, I have won FA Cups here but of course you don't want to stop winning trophies and being at a big club, you are always fighting to win a trophy.

"Being here for seven years and being at Arsenal before that playing for trophies, you never lose that hunger. I wanted to stay at Chelsea because we are always fighting and challenging for trophies. That desire and the will to want to win things have not gone."

Given interim boss Rafael Benitez is in position only until the end of the season, his influence over player contracts is minimal. Benitez refused to discuss them at the media conference ahead of the clash in south Wales.

The 21-year-old agreed a short-term contract with the Pilgrims in the summer, a deal which expired last month but was prolonged by a further month to allow new boss John Sheridan to take a look at him.

But Sheridan has now decided Lennox is surplus to requirements at Home Park and he is free to find another club.

In total, Lennox spent a year with Plymouth following his release by hometown club Bristol City, initially joining last January.

He departs having made 23 appearances for the Pilgrims and scored one goal, the equaliser against neighbours Exeter last month.


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