Joe Cole rejected "massive" European offers

Joe Cole claims that he he rejected several "massive offers" from European teams before moving to Aston Villa earlier in the summer.

Joe Cole has revealed that he rejected "massive offers" from a number of European clubs to join Aston Villa.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea playmaker signed for the Villans on a free transfer earlier this summer, and the ex-England international claimed that he had the chance to move abroad.

However, Cole decided to stay in the Premier League, and he told The Telegraph that he was uninterested in boosting his bank balance by playing in another country.

He said: "When I left West Ham I had offers and interest from all over Europe and the world. I had meetings with clubs and they offered me massive contracts but I wasn't ready to go and sit on a beach and pick up big money playing football that wouldn't stimulate me.

"I could have made a fortune but I want to challenge myself. As soon as I spoke to the manager and had a look at Villa and what the club was about I fancied it. I've definitely taken a drop in money but it's never been about that for me. Can I still do it at the top level and what can I do?

"I'm a competitor so there will always be unfinished business. Until I feel my legs can't do it, when that day comes I'll pack it in, but while I feel I've got something to offer I'll always be competitive."

Cole joined Villa from West Ham United and has previously played for Chelsea and Liverpool.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert and assistant Roy Keane look on during the pre-season friendly match between Mansfield and Aston Villa at the One Call Stadium on July 17, 2014
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