- Premier League
Mourinho plans to hold Cole talks
Jose Mourinho plans to speak to Ashley Cole about his future after the defender indicated he is ready to leave Chelsea.
Cole's contract at the club expires at the end of this month after a disappointing season in which he made just 17 Premier League appearances and fell behind Cesar Azpilicueta in the pecking order at left-back.
He ended up in tears after the final home game of the season, against Norwich, at Stamford Bridge and missed out on a place in England's squad for the World Cup.
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But Mourinho insists Cole is not in the same position as another Chelsea veteran, Frank Lampard, who has announced his departure with the manager's approval.
"With Lampard I spoke a couple of weeks before the end of the Premier League, with Ashley I didn't get that chance," Mourinho said. "They are different situations. I want to see what is going on, what is going to happen. But I will speak to him."
The contracts of Cole, captain John Terry and Lampard were key talking points last season as the club futures of the three long-serving players looked increasingly uncertain.
Terry has signed a new deal, but Lampard will be moving on after 13 years and has been strongly linked to new MLS club New York City.
Cole, who joined Chelsea from Arsenal in 2006, is reportedly considering offers from eight clubs, with Monaco and Real Madrid among the clubs said to be interested in signing the former England international.
Cole, who is on holiday in America, tweeted last month: "I am weighing up my options for playing next season with my agent and sadly it does not look like chelsea (sic) will be one of them."
The defender was upset at missing out on the World Cup in Brazil but Mourinho insists he is not to blame after frequently overlooking Cole. "I work for Chelsea, not for the national team," Mourinho told Yahoo. "The decisions I make, whether they are right or wrong, are always thinking about the club and the team. The players always come after that.
"When Ashley had the injury in his ribs and was out for a couple of months, [Cesar] Azpilicueta was playing so well that he gave Ashley no chance of coming back.
"But in the last part of the season, Ashley showed how good he is because he had to play a Champions League semi-final after a long absence from the team and performed with great stability and showed all his experience.
"After that, I kept him in the team and pushed him to get a World Cup place. He played in five consecutive big matches against Atletico Madrid twice, against Liverpool, Norwich and Cardiff. "Mr Hodgson could easily see he was in perfect condition to go to the World Cup.
"So it was Hodgson's decision and he chose [Leighton] Baines and [Luke] Shaw. That was his choice and I respect that with not a single criticism. But Ashley was in the condition to play."