Chelsea hoping to tie-down Cole
Chelsea boss Carlo Ancelotti hopes Joe Cole will become the latest player to pledge his future to Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are determined to tie key members of their squad down to new deals in response to FIFA's transfer ban, which prevents them from making any signings in the next two windows.
They are appealing against the ban but are leaving nothing to risk, prompting them to extend the contracts of Alex and Salomon Kalou this week.
John Terry, Ashley Cole, Didier Drogba and Michael Mancienne have committed themselves to the club this season and the next name on Chelsea's negotiating list is Cole.
“We want to keep Joe Cole because he's in the same situation as Alex and Kalou,” said Ancelotti.
“They signed new contracts because they are good young players and we want to keep them in our squad.
“We want to maintain the squad because that will ensure it stays very competitive. We need these players for the future.
“They are young but are also experienced because they have played a lot of important games.
“The fact Alex and Kalou want to stay is a good sign for the club.
“Our aim is to maintain the squad and maybe change one or two players at the end of the season.”
Chelsea were found guilty by FIFA of inducing teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens two years ago, resulting in their transfer ban.
But they are confident the punishment will reduced or overturned when their appeal is heard by the Lausanne-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.
“We hope the appeal will be successful but we'll have to wait for the decision of FIFA,” said Ancelotti
“All we can think about is the next game. It's important to wait and let the decision be made.”
Cole, who is out of contract next summer, was struck by a knee ligament injury in January and suffered a setback at the start of the season, restricting him to just two appearances.
The 27-year-old needs an injury-free spell to show England coach Fabio Capello he is worthy of a place at the World Cup and Ancelotti insists he will have the chance to shine.
“I hope for Joe that he will be at the World Cup with England but this is the decision for Capello,” he said.
“Joe has the time to show his quality and Capello will see what he can do.”
Chelsea could temporarily extend their lead at the Barclays Premier League summit to five points today with their trip to Aston Villa the day's early kick-off.
An emphatic 2-0 victory over title rivals Liverpool nearly a fortnight ago restored the confidence dented by their shock 3-1 defeat at Wigan.
It was the Blues' only blemish in 11 matches this season and Ancelotti is adamant the performance was not evidence of difficulties on the road.
“We want to play like we did in the game against Liverpool, not Wigan. If we play like we did against Liverpool we can win,” he said.