Chelsea fullback Ashley Cole is set to be offered a new contract at the club, following months of speculation.
Cole had been linked with a move away from West London, after dropping down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge.
Both Arsenal, and several American MLS Clubs had attracted interest in the experienced full back, who were keen to snap him up once his contract had expired.
The defender had previously lost his place to Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta, after Jose Mourinho had dropped several big name players, after returning fot his second stint.
But it now appears that Cole has won Mourinho over, and is set to gain a new one year deal.
Mourinho hinted in a pre-match interview before the Newcastle game ?
Mourinho said: ‘He still has a future here and we want to renew his contract – but ask Thierry maybe he has a better idea.’
Cole has been a stand out performer during his eight years at the Bridge, and it looks like final few players of ‘the old guard’ look all set to earn new deals at the club.
The Portuguese manager has also started playing mind games, stating that Manchester City are the favourites.
‘I’m not saying we’re not going to win. I’m saying we are candidates, we’re outsiders,’ Mourinho said.
‘We are not a squad like Man City’s with every player in the best moment of their careers of the age of stability between 25 and their 30s, all of them working together for a long time, a manager (Manuel Pellegrini) that arrived and the team was there ready for him.
‘We are different. We are beginning. Of course we dream to win the Premier League and if we have the chance to win we’re not going to say we don’t want to but we don’t have the same responsibilities.’
The Special One also confirmed Mohammad Salah would make his debut in Saturday’s fixture.
He is almost there but not there,’ Mourinho said. ‘If it was the last game of the season I’d say “let’s go and do it” but there’s no point to risk him now.
‘It’s not the moment to lose players, it’s the moment to try to have them all. Tuesday at West Brom is a better possibility.’
Mourinho continued his mischief-making by taunting Saturday’s opponents over their failure to recruit a replacement for influential midfielder Yohan Cabaye who left the club in January to join Paris St Germain.
‘Cabaye is one of the best midfielders we had in the Premier League and they did not replace him,’ Mourinho said.
‘But they have a good team and they know they can beat us. Alan Pardew is a good coach and I think it’s a difficult game.’
By Ben Reardon