Ashley Cole has signed a new four-year deal, Chelsea announced yesterday, that will keep him at the club until he is 33-years-old but it still does not make him the best-paid full-back in the Premier League.
That honour belongs to Glen Johnson, Cole's opposite number at right-back in the England team, who is paid in excess of £120,000-a-week. That extraordinary deal was agreed because of Liverpool's desperation to make sure Johnson did not sign for Chelsea this summer although their interest was not that strong.
Cole and Johnson share an agent in Jonathan Barnett who had negotiated the Johnson deal and was eager to see Cole earn a similar amount at Chelsea. It is understood that Cole's salary is in excess of £100,000 a week, more than the £90,000-a-week when he first signed for the club in 2006.
It is considerably more than the £55,000-a-week that he was famously offered by Arsenal in 2006. It was an offer that he memorably described in his autobiography as “taking the piss” because he believed that the then-vice-chairman David Dein had reneged on an original understanding.
Cole has scored three times in 88 Premier League appearances for the Blues, including one in Saturday's 3-0 win over Burnley.
He has started every game this season under new boss Carlo Ancelotti and is currently preparing with the England squad for the matches against Slovenia and Croatia.
Chelsea have been busy in signing up the core of their squad to long-term deals. They extended Frank Lampard's contract last year and since then have signed up Florent Malouda, John Obi Mikel, Didier Drogba and, most recently, John Terry. Although he used the offer from Manchester City to improve his deal to £160,000-a-week.
Joe Cole — who is one of the long-term injured — is in the last two years of his contract with the club and is expected to be the next player to sign. Nicolas Anelka, who has two years left to run on his contract, will not be offered another deal until the end of the season.