Lampard desperate to keep Cole at Chelsea

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Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has urged the club's hierarchy to do everything within their power to keep Joe Cole at Stamford Bridge.

Contract negotiations with the 28-year-old first began in 2008 but Cole has yet to sign a new deal and could walk away from Stamford Bridge on a free transfer at the end of the season.

Harry Redknapp would be interested in signing the man he nurtured as a youth at West Ham while Manchester City are another club to be linked with the Londoner. Now Lampard has called on the club to hand Cole a new contract sooner rather than later.

"Joe's a fantastic player and I really hope we keep him, and I think that goes for everyone at the club," said Lampard.

"I don't know Joe's personal position with the club but I'm sure that the club want to keep him and the players want him to stay."

Cole has been used sparingly by manager Carlo Ancelotti since the England midfielder returned from an eight-month layoff in September.

He is also facing a race against time to be picked for England's World Cup squad.

Worryingly for Cole, Capello has not picked the skilful midfielder since his return from injury but Lampard believes Cole's presence in the centre of the park is vital for both club and country.

"He adds something different for us," said Lampard, who won the Football Writers' Association's annual award last night.

"He can create things and beat his man and those type of things don't come along very often.

"Unfortunately he's been out injured for the last year at least really but was player of the year for us just before that."

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Joe Cole
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