Former England midfielder Joe Cole has joined Aston Villa on a free transfer, the club have announced.
The 32-year-old was a free agent after being released by West Ham at the end of last season.
Cole, who has also played for Chelsea and Liverpool in his career and won 56 caps for England, has signed a two-year deal at Villa Park.Cole told AVTV: "I'm really excited. It all happened really quickly, I got a call maybe a week or 10 days ago and it just felt like it was a really exciting place to come at this moment."
Cole becomes Villa's second signing of the summer - former Arsenal defender Philippe Senderos arrived last week.
Manager Paul Lambert is hoping to revamp his squad after two seasons of battling relegation from the Barclays Premier League and Cole was impressed by the Scot's vision.
The Premier League transfer targets on show at the World Cup
The Premier League transfer targets on show at the World Cup
1/14 Edinson Cavani
Another striker linked with Chelsea as they look to bolster their front line, the Uruguayan may have only joined PSG last summer but that hasn't stopped the rumours about him moving from flying around. They will only increase if he impresses at the World Cup in Brazil where he will be coming up against England in the group stages.
2/14 Toni Kroos
One player who's been creating transfer rumours for a while is Toni Kroos. The German has been linked with a move to Manchester United as his contract talks with Bayern Munich stall. Whether Kroos is simply exploiting United's need for midfield reinforcements simply to improve his Bayern contract remains to be seen. His superb goals against Arsenal at the Emirates the last two years running have offered an indication to his ability but he'll be able to strengthen his reputation with a good World Cup with Germany.
3/14 Paul Pogba
Pogba may have already played for Manchester United but the Frenchman was allowed to leave before he could make much of an impression in the Premier League. Having played just three times in the English top-flight the 21-year-old could be set for a glorious return having been linked with his old club and various others. Over the last two seasons with Juventus he's been hugely impressive and looks set to be given an opportunity to drive France through to the latter stages in Brazil.
4/14 Fabio Coentrao
The Portuguese left-back nearly joined Manchester United in January and with the Premier League bracing itself for a flurry of activity in that particular position, Coentrao could be one man in line for a move. He might have played in the Champions League final but he managed just 10 league appearances with Real Madrid, leading to claims he will move on. Despite being marginalised by his club, Coentrao will play a major role as Portugal try to negotiate their group of death with Germany, Ghana and the United States.
5/14 Mario Balotelli
Why always linked with transfers? For one reason or another, Super Mario is one man constantly in the transfer spotlight with a potential reuniting with former boss Jose Mourinho at Chelsea being mooted by some while other reports suggesting he has been offered to Arsenal for £30m. The AC Milan striker will be in action against England in Group D.
6/14 Arturo Vidal
The self-styled 'best in the world' in his role, has had a great season with Juventus and consequently finds himself in the sights of Manchester United according to reports. A good World Cup with Chile will only boost the likelihood of some offers.
7/14 Iker Casillas
Synonymous with Real Madrid for so long, Casillas fell out of favour with first Jose Mourinho and now Carlo Ancelotti and a summer move could be on the cards. Having captained Spain to three tournament successes players don't come with much bigger reputations. Arsenal are reportedly interested in finding a new number one.
8/14 Eliaquim Mangala
It seems like almost every top European club is looking to reinforce the centre of its defence at the moment and consequently Eliaquim Mangala could be in high demand. The Porto centre-back will see his value go up even further if he gets the chance to impress with France. The 23-year-old reportedly favours a move to Manchester United or Chelsea over Manchester City.
9/14 Julian Draxler
Julian Draxler has featured heavily in recent transfer windows and looks set to do so again this summer with Arsenal once again linked with the German star. The Germany international has signalled he's open to a move away from Schalke.
10/14 Jackson Martinez
Porto's Colombian striker is seemingly always mentioned in transfer gossip pages and this summer looks set to be no different. With Radamel Falcao missing the World Cup, this tournament could be Martinez's chance to really show himself off on the world stage.
11/14 William Carvalho
Another player plying his trade in Portugal that is causing a bit of a stir. The 21-year-old is at Sporting Lisbon for the moment but a bumper offer could see him on his way. Fees in the region of £37m have been mooted for the defensive midfielder, with Manchester United one of those reportedly ready to stump up the cash. Set to play a big role for Portugal this summer.
12/14 Andy Najar
Honduras will be mostly remembered for trying to kick lumps out of England, but during that warm-up match Najar caught the eye. A few more decent games at the World Cup and speculation over the 21-year-old midfielder's future will increase. Anderlecht won't be keen to let him go however.
13/14 Lorenzo Insigne
The Napoli forward has found himself heavily linked with a move to Arsenal in recent weeks. But before then he's got a World Cup to deal with. Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has scoffed at talk of a deal in the region of £18m and says he would want triple that. A good tournament with Italy for Insigne and he might just get his wish.
14/14 Vincent Aboubakar
There's more to Cameroon than just Samuel Eto'o and in the shape of Aboubakar there might just be another Indomitable Lion heading for the Premier League. The 22-year-old, who currently plays for Ligue 1 side Lorient, has been tipped as one to watch and a good tournament could have a few English clubs making inquiries.
He said: "This is a massive club and there's a massive opportunity for the club to push on. That was the main factor.
"I spoke to the gaffer and we have similar views on football. He didn't need to sell the club but he explained what the view is for the future and, like I said, that was the main thing. When I spoke to the manager I knew I'd be signing.
"I'll be coming here and I'll be learning too. Obviously I'll bring my experience to the squad but you still learn every day and I want to learn.
"I know I'll learn from the manager, I'll learn from other players here and going forward together we want to get the best results for Aston Villa."
Further changes are also likely at Villa with owner Randy Lerner having put the club up for sale.
Former Sunderland and Ipswich manager Roy Keane has also been linked with a post on Lambert's backroom staff.
For Cole, the move offers a chance to prolong his career at the top level.
Cole has spent the past season and a half back at West Ham, the club where he first made his name after coming through their youth ranks.
He was regarded as one of the most gifted players of his generation and was snapped up by Chelsea for £6.6million in 2003.
He won three Premier League titles and became an England regular during a successful seven-year spell at Stamford Bridge but injuries eventually led to him falling down the pecking order.
A move to Liverpool to 2010 failed to reignite his career but he enjoyed a successful loan spell with Lille before taking up the opportunity to return to Upton Park.
He rejoined the Hammers on an 18-month deal but he played only a a bit-part role in the season just concluded.
He last started a Barclays Premier League last December, when he scored for West Ham in a 3-3 draw against West Brom.
Cole said: "So far I've been lucky enough to have a really good career but there's still a lot more I want to achieve. The fire is still burning in me.
"I want to play at the highest level and win things still and this club fits."
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