Chelsea keen on keeping Cole
Chelsea will fight to keep hold of midfielder Joe Cole, according to assistant manager Ray Wilkins.
Last Updated: 06/06/10 9:34am
Chelsea will fight to keep hold of midfielder Joe Cole, according to Blues assistant manager Ray Wilkins.
Cole's deal at Stamford Bridge expires at the end of June and the England international has indicated he may leave the club.
Reports have circulated that the 28-year-old is attracting interest from Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham and West Ham.
Arsenal have also emerged into the race to capture his signature and a move could be on the cards with Chelsea yet to extend the player's deal.
Wilkins insists the Premier League champions still want to keep hold of Cole, though, and would try to persuade the England star to put pen-to-paper on a new deal.
He said: "We've obviously been in dialogue with Joe for months now and it's pretty evident that Carlo and myself would love Joe to stay but it's down now to the club to see what we can do.
"We sincerely hope Joe stays with us - he's a smashing guy and he's a wonderful footballer so we'll keep our fingers crossed."
Cole is currently away with the England team preparing for their World Cup opener against the USA, meaning any deal is unlikely to materialise until after the tournament.
And the London-born star said he would not be distracted by speculation of his future while on duty with the Three Lions.
Cole said in The People: "The speculation won't affect me - I am concentrating on the World Cup and nothing else. What happens afterwards will happen."