Joe Cole signs with Tampa Bay Rowdies

Joe Cole is expected to end his spell at Coventry City, with Tampa Bay Rowdies on the verge of signing the former England midfielder.

Former England international Joe Cole has signed with North American Soccer League side Tampa Bay Rowdies.

His contract with the Rowdies runs through the end of the 2017 NASL, with a club option for 2018.

“It’s a very exciting time for me,” Cole said. “I’ve always envisaged playing in the United States at some point in my life and this opportunity came up. My family and I came out to visit a few months ago and everyone was lovely, they really made us feel welcomed. I’m really excited to get started and I want to be part of a successful team. My desire to win football matches is still there, I’m not coming for an extended holiday. I want to win football matches and of course experience a new lifestyle with my family, but the priority for me is success on the pitch.”

The 34-year-old former West Ham and Chelsea playmaker moved to League One Coventry City on a free transfer from Aston Villa in January after an initial loan move.

A three-time Premier League winner, Cole has scored twice in 22 appearances.

"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 favors or extra days off," Coventry manager Tony Mowbray told the Coventry Telegraph.

"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."

Mowbray did not rule out bringing Cole back to the Ricoh Arena on loan in October when the NASL season finishes.

Cole has 56 England caps and will line up alongside former teen superstar Freddy Adu in Tampa.