Blues set for sensational double swoop
By Mark Kendall
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The West Londoners are set to splash the cash of Roman Abramovich again, and the 22-year-old England international is next on Claudio Ranieri's hit-list.
The move for Cole came as something of a surprise as The Blues had seemed to have identified Manchester United star Veron as the creative midfielder to bolster their ranks.
However, it seems Chelsea are ready to take both players to Stamford Bridge as they continue to build a star-studded squad.
Although agreement on the Veron fee is still to be confirmed, sources close to both clubs confirmed to Sky Sports News that a deal is likely to go through before Thursday's Champions League deadline.
Cole though will definitely sign for Chelsea subject to agreeing personal terms and completing a medical, but if both transfers proceed as expected it will take Chelsea's spending to just under the £60 million mark this summer.
West Ham expressed huge disappointment at their captain's imminent departure, but insisted that his sale would earn the club the financial security to make sure no further players were forced to leave Upton Park.
A statement on the club's official website read: "Everyone at the club is extremely sorry to see Joe leave Upton Park but wish him the very best of luck at his new club.
"Following 18 months of very amicable discussions between Joe, the Club, his father and his agents, it was made clear that Joe would not consider extending his contract past its expiry at the end of the coming season, believing that his international career would be enhanced by regular European Club competition experience.
"Had Joe left the club at the end of the season, West Ham United would have been entitled to compensation because he was still under 23.
"However this figure would have been below £500,000 had he gone to a foreign club, possibly higher to an English club but, with no guarantee of the figure which might be obtained, the board felt that the decision to accept a significant offer now was the correct one.
"This transfer now ensures that no further sales will be necessary following the financial implications of relegation and that all future offers will be decided by the manager on a team selection basis rather than by the board on a financial one.
"The priority now will be bringing players in to strengthen the squad ahead of the forthcoming season."
Cole himself added: "It was a difficult decision, but I feel now is the time to make a break from West Ham."
"The club will always be an important part of my career and I have a great affection for the club and the fans."