Cole will stay at Chelsea, says Ancelotti

LONDON, April 5, 2010 (AFP) - Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti insists England winger Joe Cole will agree to stay at Stamford Bridge before his contract expires at the end of the season.

Talks over a new deal for Cole have so far failed and reports have claimed the former West Ham player is being targeted by Manchester United and Tottenham, who would be able to sign him on a free transfer once his current contract runs out.

Cole had been out of favour with Ancelotti after struggling to find peak form since his 18-month lay-off due to injury.

But he was back in the spotlight Saturday as he opened the scoring in Chelsea's crucial 2-1 victory over Manchester United at Old Trafford with a clever flick from Florent Malouda's cross to lift the Blues two points clear at the top of the table.

Ancelotti admitted there is an 'economical problem' in discussions with Cole, but fully expects the 28-year-old to extend his stay and win a place in England's World Cup squad.

The Italian said: "Joe Cole has the same focus as the rest of the team. He wants to play well and wants to win the title.

"For him, there is also a desire to go to the World Cup and if he carries on like he did here he will be there.

"Now he has some consistency in his game and that is good for him. He will definitely sign a new contract. There is no problem, don't worry.

"I've spoken a lot about Joe Cole with my club and everyone has a desire for him to stay at Chelsea and so does he. There is not a problem, it is an economical problem, nothing else."

Cole's strike has put Chelsea in pole position to win the Premier League for the first time since 2006 and Ancelotti believes his side received a massive boost when United striker Wayne Rooney suffered ankle ligament damage which ruled him out of the Old Trafford clash.

Ancelotti believes United without Rooney are a less fearsome prospect and he said: "They're not the same team without him. Rooney is a fantastic player who is difficult to replace with another player. (Dimitar) Berbatov is good but Rooney is totally different.

"Rooney can sometimes come back to receive the ball and use it for all the team and then he can attack in any direction. He is an unbelievable player."

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