Joe Cole expects to leave West Ham at the end of the season
West Ham midfielder Joe Cole says it is unlikely he will stay at the club beyond this season.
Last Updated: 25/04/14 8:05pm
The 32-year-old rejoined the Hammers - with whom he started his career - from Liverpool in January 2013 on an 18-month deal, which runs out at the end of this season.
He has started just six matches this season and rarely in his favoured position of central midfield.
And the former Chelsea player accepts it is likely he will have to move elsewhere in search of first-team football.
When asked on Sky Sports' Weekend Warm-up if he would be staying at Upton Park, he replied: "At the moment it's probably looking unlikely.
"If I could stay and play then that would be ideal but that doesn't look like I'm the manager's first choice.
"I'm being used here and there and sparingly. But at my age and where I am in my career I want to enjoy my football. I love competing and just I want to play.
"If you look at the small amount of time I've played on the pitch I think I've performed reasonably well.
"I'll be looking next year to play in a more central role. Being a winger in the past 10-11-12 years you lose a bit of patience, you want to come inside.
"Playing central will be something I will be looking for in my next club or if I stay at West Ham.
"So we will sit down in a few weeks, I imagine, and get a plan for next year."
During his time at Chelsea, who he joined from West Ham in 2003 and remained at until 2010, Cole won the Premier League three times, the FA Cup on three occasions and the League Cup twice.
He has also amassed 56 England caps and was included in the national squad for four major tournaments.
Cole admits that had to combat high expectations when he broke into the West Ham first team as a teenager and also saw his progress curtailed somewhat by a cruciate ligament injury in 2009 but he still believes he has fulfilled his potential.
"It's perception in football and there was a lot of pressure put on me as a youngster but I think I've achieved what I'm capable of achieving," he said.
"People will tell you I'm a good professional, I work hard. If you look at the curves on my career, it was going up, up and up and then I got my injury. That has taken a little bit out of my game.
"A lot of it in football is people's perception of what you could have done, what you should have done.
"To be able to play at Chelsea for such long time at a top club it's an amazing achievement. I'm happy with what I've done."
"I still want more. The fire still burns. I still want to play and play at the highest level I can play."
This weekend, two of Cole's former teams - Chelsea and Liverpool - face each other in a game that could go a long way to deciding the outcome of this season's title race.
Having worked with both Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who was a coach under the Portuguese during Cole's time at Stamford Bridge, the player can see a lot of similarities between the two.
"You can see how studious they are with their approach and the fact that they are at the training ground every day and every session," added Cole. "That's what they have in common and I think Brendan takes a lot of that from Jose."
"They are very similar."
You can watch Liverpool's game with Chelsea live on Sky Sports 1HD on Sunday from 2pm.