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By ESPN Staff

'I'm not greedy' insists £80k-per-week Cole

Ashley Cole insists his controversial transfer from Arsenal to Chelsea was not motivated by personal greed.

Cole fears his image has been damaged by the saga which finally ended on transfer deadline-day last week.

The England left-back has found himself portrayed as a money-grabber who turned his back on the club he supported as a boy in return for Chelsea's millions.

He has signed a five-year deal, reported to be worth £80,000 a week, but claims money was not the reason for his move.

Cole, 25, said: 'I know full-well that I'm not a greedy person. I've not come here for money.

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

'It had nothing to do with money and greed and not being loyal.

'I know I can wake up in the morning, look in the mirror and know I'm not a bad person.'

Cole's dispute with Arsenal started when they failed to back him in a Premier League investigation into his illegal meeting with Jose Mourinho in a London hotel last year.

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

Cole was unwilling to disclose many details at Chelsea today but his autobiography comes out later this month and is expected to contain his account of the bust-up.

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

Chelsea were the obvious buyers but the transfer was not pushed through until hours before last week's deadline.

Cole said: 'I had a meeting with Arsene Wenger before I went to the World Cup and said `I don't think it's going to be easy for me to come back and play for Arsenal after everything that's gone on'.

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

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

'He 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.'

Cole insists he never fell out with Wenger or the Arsenal players.

He said: '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.'

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

The England defender is unlikely to receive a warm homecoming when he plays in the Emirates Stadium for Chelsea but it will not until May 5 in the Premiership.

Cole said: '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.

'This is a fresh challenge for me and hopefully it will bring a new lease of life and you'll see a new Ashley Cole.

'I've done my time at Arsenal. What's happened has happened. That's over now.

'I don't expect to have a good reception when I go back to Arsenal but I hope fans will understand the reasons I had to leave. I know some won't.'