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ESPN FC  By ESPN

Joe Cole set for Tampa Bay Rowdies transfer - Coventry manager Mowbray

Joe Cole signed for Coventry in January.

Former England international Joe Cole is set to sign for North American Soccer League (NASL) Tampa Bay Rowdies, according to his current manager at Coventry City, Tony Mowbray.

In March, a source told ESPN FC that ex-West Ham, Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder Cole had agreed a deal to join the Rowdies after being offered a one-year deal with an option for another 12 months.

Cole is currently at League One side Coventry on a permanent contract until the end of the season after leaving Aston Villa on a free transfer in January, following a successful loan spell at the Ricoh Arena.

The 34-year-old, who won three Premier League titles with Chelsea, has made 22 league appearances so far this campaign, scoring twice and laying on six assists.

"Joe's going to join Tampa Bay and it might happen pretty quickly if he can get international clearance etc," Mowbray said in the Coventry Telegraph.

"I would have liked to have kept Joe who I think has proven his fitness and worth to the team. He's a fantastic character around our building -- no airs and graces, not looking for favours or extra days off.

Joe Cole started his career at West Ham.

"He's a top guy and he has shown his football ability. It's come probably a little bit late in the day that I have felt as if I could trust him to play in the centre of midfield alongside John Fleck and not worry too much about having a combative Vincelot-type character breaking it up and winning headers.

"I think Joe can help us control football matches but he's made his decision for his family, I think, and we wish him well because he's been fantastic for our dressing room and this football club."

On whether Cole could return to Coventry next season, Mowbray said: "He's indicated to me that when their season finishes in October that he might come back here because there's a window of opportunity for him to come back on loan.

"I said that would be great but it will be dependent on how many loans we have got at that time, of course, so let's see what happens.

"It could be October to February. Let's wait and see how he does, if he stays fit."

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