The Chelsea Left-back, whose current deal expires this summer, has been used sparingly this season by Jose Mourinho but sparkled recently and now, club management is keen to open contract negotiations with him.
English newspaper The Telegraph has reported today that Chelsea want to open negotiations over a new contract for Ashley Cole after the left-back’s impressive first-team comeback. But Cole does not intend to be rushed in to any decisions over his future and may decide to keep Chelsea waiting.
Cole’s contract expires at the end of this season and it was not only his Chelsea prospects that looked dismal, as the 33-year-old’s extended run on the sidelines also put his England World Cup place at risk.
Up until last week’s Champions League semi-final first leg trip to face Atletico Madrid, Cole had not started a game for Chelsea since facing Stoke in the FA Cup on Jan 26.
There have been suggestions that Cole’s former Arsenal team-mate,Thierry Henry, has attempted to persuade him to join him at New York Red Bulls next season but Chelsea hope he will remain in south-west London for another year.
But, with Branislav Ivanovic suspended, Cole was drafted back in for the trip to Madrid and played brilliantly in Chelsea’s goalless first-leg draw against Atletico.
Cole kept his place for the trip to Liverpool and produced another assured performance in Chelsea’s 2-0 victory at Anfield.
Those displays appear to have convinced Chelsea that Cole is worth trying to keep, but it remains to be seen whether he will accept a new one-year deal to stay at the club.
Earlier, in the month of February, this is what Mourinho said about the future of Ashle Cole: “I like the player, I trust the player, I want him to stay,” said Mourinho. “The club is happy with that, so we don’t have a problem but [his decision] is another story that I cannot control. It’s another part of the story that doesn’t depend on us. Yes, he has [a future here] but maybe Thierry has a better proposal in New York.”
Cole’s star has fallen this season, with César Azpilicueta, a natural right-back, having excelled since swapping to the opposite flank. “That is the only reason Ashley is not playing,” added Mourinho, who will fight for John Terry also to be offered a new one-year deal at the club. “Because Azpilicueta is playing fantastically well, not because Ashley Cole has been playing poorly. When César did not play, Ashley came in against Liverpool, Southampton and Hull and played very well. But, in my opinion, Azpilicueta is playing fantastically.”
Cole’s performances have also been noted by England manager Roy Hodgson and his staff, as they prepare to decide whether to take Cole or Southampton youngster Luke Shaw to the World Cup with Leighton Baines.
Hodgson may now feel Cole has done enough to justify his place in the squad, as a player he can rely on against top-quality opposition.
Cole’s position will be strengthened even further if he keeps his place for Wednesday night’s second leg against Atletico at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, there is plenty of interest for the services of Cole from the Premier League and abroad but the player is yet to decide his future.