Chelsea Star Ashley Cole Reportedly Signs 1-Year Deal to Stay At Stamford Bridge
UPDATE: Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 12:15 p.m. ET by Tim Daniels
Cole's new deal is now official, according to the club's official site. It's a one-year extension.
On signing his new deal, Cole said: "I am pleased I will be starting my eighth season at Chelsea. I have great memories here and I enjoy coming to training every day. The staff are amazing and I enjoy training with the lads."
'I have been able to fulfil nearly all my ambitions at Chelsea. I have won the Champions League, the League, I have won FA Cups here but of course you don't want to stop winning trophies and being at a big club, you are always fighting to win a trophy.
'Being here for seven years and being at Arsenal before that playing for trophies, you never lose that hunger. I wanted to stay at Chelsea because we are always fighting and challenging for trophies. That desire and the will to want to win things have not gone.'
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UPDATE: Sunday, January 20 at 12:30 p.m. ET by Timothy Rapp
Cole's extension is now all but official, as manager Rafa Benitez confirmed the deal. From ESPN FC:
Rafa Benitez confirms Ashley Cole agreement: "The paperwork has to be done but the agreement is done.''— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 20, 2013
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UPDATE: Saturday, January 19 at 2:06 p.m. ET by Matt Fitzgerald
According to a report by The Guardian, Cole's deal will be finalized within the next 48 hours, but has not been made official as of yet:
Press Association Sport understands the England defender has agreed to put pen-to-paper on a contract extension and both parties expect the paperwork to be signed off in the next 48 hours.
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Rob Beasley of The Sun broke the news on Saturday:
ASHLEY COLE has agreed a new one-year contract extension at Chelsea.
The deal ends speculation that the England left-back, 32, would leave Stamford Bridge on a free transfer at the end of the season.
He had been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Paris St Germain.
This is fantastic news for the Chelsea faithful, as the club is in the midst of an exceptional run in the English Premier League during the 2012-13 season. The Blues have only given up 21 goals in 22 EPL fixtures, a number only bested by Manchester City, which sit one spot ahead of Chelsea in the table.
Beasley's claim that Cole was linked to prominent La Liga club Real Madrid was substantiated by a prior report from Matt Law of The Mirror back in late December. He would have given the club a huge defensive boost in their efforts to knock off powerhouse Barcelona F.C.
Instead, Cole will be around for a critical stretch as the Blues attempt to climb as far up the EPL standings as possible, although Manchester United hold a massive lead.
Letting Cole walk on a free transfer would not have been the best move for the front office, and thankfully the star was loyal to his current club.
Cole is a controversial figure, having several run-ins with the law, but he has been a staple of the Chelsea club since 2006.
Since arriving from rival Arsenal, Cole has helped deliver a Premier League trophy and a UEFA Champions League title. As he is one of the elite defenders in the entire world, Stamford Bridge will surely enjoy having him back for at least another year.
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