• Premier League

Mourinho hints at Cole exile

ESPN staff
February 18, 2014
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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has cast doubt over Ashley Cole's hopes of breaking back into his side for the title run-in, but believes the left-back will still feature for England at the World Cup.

England manager Roy Hodgson has hinted that Cole faces a fight to secure a place in his squad for Brazil this summer unless he is playing regular first-team football, but that does not seem likely any time soon.

When asked whether Cole is set for a run in his side in upcoming matches, Mourinho said: "I don't know. I'm very happy with the way Cesar Azpilicueta is performing."

Cole, 33, is out of contract at Chelsea this summer, with his tenure warming the bench for Mourinho fuelling speculation that his days at the Stamford Bridge club may be edging towards a conclusion.

However, Mourinho indicated that he still believes Cole's hopes of playing in a sixth major tournament for his country could be fulfilled.

Though not mentioning his own player by name, Mourinho commented: "I cannot think in national teams at the same time as thinking about my team.

"There are national team managers that are very clear: they go with their players. It doesn't matter if their players are playing in the club or if they are not playing, they go with their players."

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