Coventry City midfielder Joe Cole set to join Tampa Bay Rowdies

Joe Cole Liverpool

Coventry boss Tony Mowbray has confirmed that the former Chelsea and West Ham United playmaker is on the verge of joining the NASL club.

Former England international Joe Cole is set to begin a new chapter of his career in the US second tier.

Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray confirmed on Wednesday morning that the 34-year-old playmaker is joining the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the NASL, telling the Coventry Telegraph: "Joe's going to join Tampa Bay and it might happen pretty quickly if he can get international clearance etc.

"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.

"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."

Cole originally joined Coventry from Aston Villa in mid-October on a 35-day loan deal which was later made permanent and has since featured 22 times for the League One club, recording two goals and six assists.

Beforehand, the former Chelsea midfielder spent 18 months at Villa after being signed on a free transfer in June 2014 following his release from West Ham United but struggled to establish himself in the first-team due to a dreadful run of injuries.

Nevertheless, the three-time Premier League winner did manage to produce some solid performances when fit and will be one of the biggest draws in the NASL thanks to his decorated club and international career.

According to the Unused Substitutes, who first reported that the Rowdies were pursuing Cole’s signature back in March, the 56-times capped Englishman’s contract with the Florida-based outfit will run through 2017, with an option for the 2018 season, and he could make his debut as soon as May 14 against Rayo OKC if his visa and International Transfer Certificate are approved in time.

Coventry boss Mowbray also added that the Sky Blues veteran could potentially return to the Ricoh Arena on loan next winter at the end of the current NASL campaign, but no such arrangement has been agreed at this point.

"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,” Mowbray added to the Coventry Telegraph. "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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