- Premier League
Cole's Chelsea contract talks stall
Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is seeking a final big contract that would push his earnings close to the £200,000-a-week mark, ESPN can reveal.
Cole, 31, wants to stay at Stamford Bridge, but there are now genuine fears that the club will allow his contract to run down as they did with Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack because of the player's salary demands.
With his current deal ending in 2013, talks have taken place over an extension, but there have been no developments and it is in Chelsea's court to come up with an offer to persuade him to stay.
Cole is attracting the attention of former Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti at big-spending Paris Saint Germain, as well as Jose Mourinho's Real Madrid, and is understood to be keen to go abroad rather than move to another club in the Premier League - with Manchester United recently linked - if he leaves Chelsea.
"Ancelotti liked Ashley a lot during his time at the Bridge, and would take him now, but PSG have spent an awful of money this summer already, so that isn't likely, for even if they offered quite a big fee Chelsea won't sell him now," a source told ESPN.
"Next summer will be different, but Chelsea have plenty of time to put forward an offer, and if it's the right one then Ashley will sign a new deal at the Bridge. He loves it at Chelsea and ideally wouldn't want to leave, but let's be fair - this will be his last big contract and he is in a commanding position with his current deal expiring in a year."
When signing-on fees, image rights and bonuses are taken into account, the left-back can command a £30 million-plus three-year deal to finish his career, although Chelsea have shown reluctance in the past to hand out massive deals to players over the age of 30.
Cole has indicated his desire to stay with Chelsea for the final few years of his career, but it is now up to Roman Abramovich to sanction a pay rise of around £70,000-a-week to keep him.