Blues start Cole deal talks

Image: Cole: Contract talks

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has confirmed talks have started to reward Joe Cole with a new contract.

Gourlay optimistic midfielder will sign new contract

Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has confirmed talks have started to reward midfielder Joe Cole with a new contract. Cole's current deal expires at the end of the season and he recently made a successful return to the Blues team after nine months on the sidelines with a knee injury. The England international, who turns 28 on Sunday, has expressed a desire to sign a new deal, while manager Carlo Ancelotti wants the former West Ham United youngster to stay at Stamford Bridge. New chief executive Gourlay has revealed discussions have started with Cole and he is optimistic an agreement can be reached. "We are already in discussions with Joe," Gourlay told Chelsea TV. "The situation is that he is coming to the end of his contract, he is 28-years-old on the day of the Manchester United game and we're entering into the period where Joe is looking to negotiate his new contract. "That process has started, Joe has made it very clear that he wants to stay with the football club and I'm sure in the coming months we will be able to work something out."

Challenging

The current Premier League leaders are also appealing Fifa's ban on signing players until 2011, imposed in September after they were found guilty of illegally inducing French player Gael Kakuta to join them. Gourlay feels Chelsea have "a strong case" and, asked about his role in potential transfer targets, he added: "We have a football club board. "If there is an opportunity to buy a player who's key to taking us forward and fits in with the team we will decide between the group who's best on a case-by-case situation to deal with that. "The next five years are going to be very, very challenging. We entered into a 10-year plan, we've set our goals very high, I would like to see us keep playing the exciting football we are doing - I know that's close to the owner's heart - and we've got to win things. "At boardroom level we've got to continue winning trophies. There is an expectation at Chelsea every time we cross the white line. We are expected to be in the mix in every competition we enter. "That's how we have positioned ourselves as a football club and that's how we are portrayed. There's a lot of energy around the place and we are in a good position to support the coach and deliver the things we need to deliver."

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