Joe Cole looks set to end his career where it began as he closes in on a return to West Ham United.

Queens Park Rangers manager Harry Redknapp revealed on Wednesday night the 31-year-old had opted to join his old club rather than his old manager.

joe cole

Cole celebrates his opener against Arsenal in August 2002

Cole, a product of the Hammers' famed Academy, was part of the imperious 1999 FA Youth Cup-winning side which decimated Coventry City 9-0 over the two-legged final. Michael Carrick was a teammate of Cole's.

He played in the Hammers' first-team for four-and-a-half-years, making 158 appearances, until their relegation from the Premier League in 2003. Cole joined Chelsea for a knockdown £6m and won three league titles, two FA Cups and two League Cups with his boyhood club.

A fruitful loan spell at Lille was sandwiched within his disastrous stint at Liverpool prior to his imminent return to the Boleyn Ground.

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  • Hair-raising in 1998

  • An Old Trafford debutant, January 1999

  • The first of many topless celebrations at Boro, 2002-03

  • Relegation, 2003

  • Impressing KK in 1999

  • Conducting the orchestra in the '99 FA Youth Cup final

  • Bare-chested at Birmingham

  • A first England goal vs Serbia & Montenegro in 2003

  • West end boy, 2003

  • Maturing under Mourinho, 2004-05

  • Champion, 2005

  • Minding Wayne Rooney's advances after scoring the winner against Wales in 2005

  • Savouring one of his greatest goals past Manchester United in Chelsea's 2006 title-clincher

  • World Cup goalscorer versus Sweden in 2006

  • Applause for West Ham fans at Upton Park having scored past them, March 2008

  • Champions League final loser in Moscow

  • Celebrating his final Chelsea goal in a crucial title showdown at United in April 2010

  • A second FA Cup for the collection, 2010

  • Mersey beat, 2010

  • Cole's Liverpool nightmare begins almost immediately as he is sent off on his league debut in August 2010

  • Another muted Upton Park celebration after equalising for Liverpool, December 2012