Belfast Telegraph

Cole 'not for sale' as Spurs bid for Chelsea star

Tottenham have launched an audacious bid to lure Joe Cole away from Chelsea.

But the Blues are insisting that the England midfielder is staying put at Stamford Bridge.

Reports had claimed Spurs boss Harry Redknapp, who gave Cole his first-team debut at West Ham a decade ago, was planning a £10million offer for the England international.

But Chelsea have warned off any clubs interested in the 27-year-old by confirming they will not be listening to offers.

A statement from Chelsea read: “Contrary to media reports Chelsea is not, and will not be, considering any offers for Joe Cole.

“Our sole focus, as is Joe's, is to complete his rehab and get him fit as soon as possible so that he can play a major part in the new season.”

Cole is currently working his way back to fitness after suffering a season-ending knee injury against Southend United in the FA Cup in January.

He met with a setback earlier in pre-season and is not expected to be ready for the opening Premier League game of the campaign on August 15 against Hull City.

Since joining Chelsea from West Ham six years ago, Cole has made almost 250 appearances for the club and scored 38 goals.

It has been quiet on the transfer front at Stamford Bridge but the Blues are getting ready to splash the cash.

They are planning to submit bids for Bayern Munich's Frank Ribery and Atletico Madrid's Sergio Aguero, according to reports.

Roman Abramovich is set to make a signal of the club's intent following club after John Terry sought assurances from the Chelsea hierarchy that the club would seek to bolster their ranks during his protracted courtship by Manchester City over the summer.

The report states that manager Carlo Ancelotti wants Milan's Andrea Pirlo to play in the holding midfield role in his diamond formation, with a fee of £12m plus Claudio Pizarro being mooted as possibly enough to persuade the Italian giants to do business.

Chelsea are then set to battle it out with Manchester United for the signature of Aguero, who is rated at £45m by his current club, Athletico Madrid.

It is claimed Aguero was seeking wages of £200k a week to move to the Premier League, and this had initially cooled Chelsea's interest.

The club are also planning to offer more than £40m to tempt Ribery to Stamford Bridge, and believe Bayern Munich will be tempted into selling as the transfer deadline approaches.

Bayern had previously insisted Ribery would see his contract out at the club.

Meanwhile Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce has signed striker Franco Di Santo on loan from Stamford Bridge for the first half of the season.

Allardyce has been determined to strengthen his attack following the departure of Roque Santa Cruz to Manchester City and Di Santo will give him a fresh option up front.

The 20-year-old Argentinian made only a minimal impact on the first team at Stamford Bridge after signing from Chilean side Audax Italiano in January 2008.

He will stay with Blackburn until January under the terms of the deal completed last night.

Rovers will then have first option on extending the deal providing Chelsea are willing to let him stay on loan for the remaining months of the season.

Di Santo could make his first appearance for Blackburn in Wednesday's home friendly against Hibernian.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph