Blues desperate to keep Cole
Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins is confident midfielder Joe Cole will remain with the club.
Last Updated: 05/03/10 3:19pm
Chelsea assistant manager Ray Wilkins is confident Joe Cole will remain with the club.
Speculation about Cole's future has been mounting for some time, with the midfielder out of contract in the summer and yet to agree on a new deal.
Fresh reports have suggested that he could leave Stamford Bridge in the summer as owner Roman Abramovich is not prepared to meet his wage demands.
Carlo Ancelotti has previously stressed that Cole remains an important part of his plans and assistant manager Wilkins has backed up that stance.
Wilkins hopes the England international can resolve his differences with the club and put pen to paper on a new contract.
"We are desperate to keep Joe," he said on Sky Sports News. "I know the club are and we as a management group are desperate to keep him.
"He is a very valuable asset to us, but it is a contractual situation that I am sure he and the club will sort out at some stage.
"We sincerely hope so. We would love to keep Joe and I am sure they will sort that out."
Cole faces a battle to be included in the England World Cup squad this summer after being left out of Fabio Capello's plans for Wednesday's friendly against Egypt.
He has not played for his country since suffering a serious knee injury in early 2009 and has struggled to regain his best form since getting fit again.
However, Wilkins has backed the versatile 28-year-old to make the plane to South Africa, insisting he will get plenty of opportunities to play for the Blues before the end of the season.
Asked if he thought Cole would go to the World Cup, Wilkins replied: "If he continues to work in the vein that he is working in training, and with the game time that he will get from here on in, then I see no reason why he shouldn't.
"I think he would give England something slightly different. He can play both sides of the pitch, he can play in different formations, so he has got a very good chance.
"Fabio has said that he hasn't been too impressed with Joe's form over the past couple of months, that's why he didn't make the final 23 (against Egypt), but we are quite confident that Joe can get his form back and get into that squad."