He has time and again stated that he wants to see out his career with the club, despite being looked over every manager he has played for at one point or another, and after coming back from a lengthy injury at the start of this season, reiterated his desire to sign a contract with the club.
However, as time has gone by, no deal has been struck, with Cole now just a few months away from being able to leave the club on a free.
After John Terry and Frank Lampard have taken the piss out of Chelsea over the past two summers, Cole admirably claimed he wanted to keep away from a tabloid fuss.
“I want nothing more than to stay at Chelsea, I love it here,” he claimed. “It’s not a problem. I don’t want a drama in the papers, either. You won’t hear my agent running around saying I’m going to this club or that club. I want to be at Chelsea and they know that.”
He is well loved by the Chelsea fans and clearly wants to stay, but only if the price is right. He is currently earning £80,000 a week and the press claim he has been offered a deal worth £100,000 a week. With the likes of of Michael Essien and Nicolas Anelka earning £120,000 a week, Frank Lampard on £140,000 a week and John Terry on £150,000, it makes sense that Cole and his agent would want a comparable salary.
The situation reminds me of that of Wes Brown a couple of years ago, with a player who wants to stay, but also doesn’t want their commitment to the club to leave them looking a mug. Wes was being offered less than John O’Shea, which made no sense at all given that JoS was used as part of the squad rotation, whilst Wes was our starting right back (and went on to play more games for us that season than any other player).
Cole’s contract discussions started several months ago, although less formal talks began in the summer of 2008, which suggests the club have yet to meet the price the player is looking for if nothing has been signed. You would imagine that with their transfer ban, Chelsea will be keen to keep a hold of all the players they can, but Roman Abramovich has tightened the purse strings in recent seasons may not be prepared to meet Cole’s evaluation of himself.
Now, they might be able to kiss and make up, if Cole issues an ultimatum. Or the player might simply have enough, with his agent listening out for other offers (of which there will be plenty) and keen to get his cut elsewhere, meaning we could make a move for him.
Even without our financial problems, signing someone of Cole’s quality would be a great bit of business. He’s no mercenary, from what I can gather, rather a player who wants to be paid what he feels he deserves in relation to his team mates. At United, we wouldn’t be offering him the supposed £120,000 he’s looking for, but as long as he could get at least a four year deal with a competitive salary, surely he would be interested. He conceded just last month that Chelsea haven’t been good value for money in terms of the trophies they’ve won, so maybe a move to United would be appealing in that respect. He would also be playing under a manager who has a great deal of time for him and alongside players he loves.
All we have to do is surgically remove that ridiculous sweat band he wears and jobs a good’en.