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To leave or not to leave: Cole’s Chelsea dilemma

OUT OF CONTRACT SOON: Cole (PA)

GIANT CLUBS of Europe are waiting in the wings to snap up the services of Ashley Cole as the defender’s contract at Chelsea expires this summer, leaving the left-back with a tricky career dilemma.

The 33-year-old has been a peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge this season due to manager Jose Mourinho favouring the younger Cesar Azpilicueta on the left of defence.

However, Cole has been heavily involved in the final months of the campaign, playing crucial roles in big games against Liverpool and Atletico Madrid. His performances have been impressive, despite lack of games, and it appears the Chelsea board has been swayed to offer him a one-year contract extension.

The ball is firmly in Cole’s court now, and it will depend on him and his representatives if he is to walk away from west London after eight successful years.


IMPRESSIVE FORM: Cole in action against Norwich (PA)

There is significant interest in signing Cole from major European sides, including reported links to Real Madrid and Paris St Germain, while his old club Arsenal have been rumoured to be willing to re-sign the player.

Cole was seen crying while doing a lap of appreciation after Chelsea’s final league game of the season at home, which ended in a disappointing 0-0 draw with Norwich.

His tears only fuelled speculation that he is on the way out, but Mourinho remained coy over his future when speaking to reporters in the post-match conference.

On the subject of Cole, Frank Lampard and John Terry’s contract situations, the Portuguese boss said: “They are with the club on their future.

“Now it's time to wait a little bit. The summer is a long summer for us.

“For the players involved in the World Cup it's a different story, but for us, as a club, it's a long time to be calm, to discuss and to analyse options and the market and possibilities.”

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