Coach Carlo Ancelotti insists Joe Cole will be a Chelsea player next season even though he cannot guarantee him regular first-team football.
The England midfielder's current contract at Stamford Bridge expires in the summer and talks over a new deal have yet to reach a conclusion. The main stumbling block is understood to be Cole's desire for regular first-team football as opposed to a massive hike in his salary.
But while Ancelotti insists the player will still be at the club next season, he said: "I cannot guarantee to Joe Cole that he'll play for Chelsea in every game. I cannot guarantee that to any of my players."
He added: "I never guarantee that to my players, even the big players. How can a manager guarantee that to the players? That's impossible.
"I don't have any news on his contract. He will stay at Chelsea next year. I'm 100% clear.
"I don't like to speak about him all the time. He will be in the squad for next year, as I say.
"It's my aim. It's the aim of the club to keep him in the squad because Joe Cole is an important player, a very professional player, he has a lot of quality and is young.
"He is a player of the national team. He is English. For these reasons, we want to keep him in the squad."
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