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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 14:34 GMT 15:34 UK
New-boy Cole defends Chelsea move
Ashley Cole and Jose Mourinho
At one stage I didn't think I was ever going to come

Ashley Cole
Ashley Cole has defended his decision to join Chelsea and dismissed criticism that he has only moved across London from Arsenal to boost his bank balance.

Cole secured the deal on the final day of the transfer window and admitted to relief that it finally went through.

"I know full well that I'm not a greedy person. I've not come here for money," said the 25-year-old England left-back.

"I've come here because I want to win things and I have a good chance of winning things at Chelsea."

Cole's transfer ran on and on over the summer and was finally resolved after a lengthy day of bargaining between London's top two clubs.

His dispute with the Gunners started when they reneged on a verbal agreement over a new contract and then failed to back him in a Premier League investigation into his illegal meeting with Jose Mourinho in a London hotel last year.

And his relationship with vice-chairman David Dein deteriorated from that point, with the player feeling the club had failed to show him any support or respect.

At the end of last season, when Arsenal reached the Champions League final, Cole met manager Arsene Wenger and said he wanted to leave.

But he has no bad feeling towards Frenchman Wenger.

I knew what I was leaving behind - Arsene has been great to me and he has always been supportive

Ashley Cole on Arsene Wenger

"I said I would like to leave and it was down to the Arsenal manager and the board to find a club for me," Cole added.

"I wanted to go and concentrate on the World Cup, do well, and I asked them to find me a club to go to.

"Arsene was the one who mentioned Chelsea but, at one stage, I didn't think I was ever going to come here. But they sorted it out.

"I only found out it was going through on the last day, at about two in the afternoon.

"The manager called me and said the deal was back on. I was happy with that and now I'm happy it's all over.

"I knew what I was leaving behind. Arsene has been great to me. He has always been supportive, even up to the last days of the transfer.

"He has always been great for me and been on my side through everything what happened.

I have no problem with Arsenal and as far as I am concerned the relationship is positive now

Jose Mourinho

"When you start at a club at such a young age, you do owe the club and I owe Arsenal for giving me the chance to make it.

"But hopefully the fans and the manager and everybody will agree I've repaid them a bit.

"Maybe it's not enough but there's nothing I can do now. I've moved on and Arsenal is in my past."

Chelsea paid 5m for Cole and William Gallas joined Arsenal as part of the package.

And Mourinho hopes the deal will help create a more harmonious relationship between the clubs.

"The good thing was how Chelsea and Arsenal behaved in negotiating the deal in the last two months," Mourinho said.

"Everything was very correct: Chelsea fought for the player and Arsenal fought for the best deal for a very important player. I am very happy with that.

"I have no problem with Arsenal. I cannot wish them good luck because we have the same objective as them, which is to win the Premiership.

"I want us to have all the luck so for that reason I cannot wish any for them. But as far as I am concerned the relationship is positive now."

Reaction to deadline day deals
01 Sep 06 |  Premiership
Blues beat deadline to sign Cole
01 Sep 06 |  Premiership


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