Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp believes Joe Cole has already decided to leave Chelsea and found a new club.
The 28-year-old, who has been named in England's 23-man World Cup squad, is out of contract at Stamford Bridge this summer so is available on a free transfer.
The attacking midfielder has been linked with a number of clubs, notably Spurs, Manchester United and Arsenal.
But Redknapp, who gave Cole his senior debut as a 17-year-old at West Ham, reckons not only that Spurs are already out of the running but a deal has already been done.
"It looks to me someone's going to make a great free transfer, if he doesn't stay at Chelsea," he said.
"I genuinely don't know who that is. I don't think it's going to be Tottenham.
"I've got a feeling, I may be wrong, that he's already agreed a deal with someone, and it's not Tottenham.
"I'm not saying if he hadn't agreed a deal with someone and he was available and didn't stay at Chelsea that we wouldn't be interested.
"I'm a big fan of Joe's, but the feedback we've had is that he might well have already done something."
Cole came back from a major knee injury at the start of last season and upon on his return he struggled to hold down a regular starting role for Chelsea.
He did enough to be named in Fabio Capello's provisional World Cup squad, though, and booked a ticket to South Africa after impressing as a half-time substitute in Sunday's warm-up win over Japan - his 54th international appearance and first since September 2008.