Cole Stamford Bridge future up in the air
Ashley Cole will wait to see if he can win back a regular place in Jose Mourinho's Chelsea team before making a decision over his future, WRITES MATT LAW.
Mourinho has claimed left-back Cole can only hope to be on the Chelsea substitutes' bench at best for tonight's key game against Arsenal. Cole was pictured at Arsenal's Christmas party last week, just 24 hours after being part of the Chelsea side that was knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Sunderland.
Cesar Azpilicueta has been preferred to Cole, who celebrated his 33rd birthday on Friday, despite the fact his natural position is on the right. Cole has not started a Premier League game since the defeat at Newcastle in early November, having struggled to fully recover from a rib injury.
Mourinho has claimed Cole can expect to be offered an extension to his current contract. But it is understood negotiations over a new deal are yet to take place.
Chelsea are at the front of the queue hoping to sign Southampton left-back Luke Shaw, either in January or at the end of the season, which puts another question mark against Cole.
Cole can talk to overseas clubs in January, but may find he does not have the same options available to him as last year when Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain were interested.
Despite uncertainty over his Chelsea future, Cole remains confident he can keep his international place for the World Cup in Brazil and become the first Englishman to play in four finals tournaments.