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."
Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.
Do YOU want to write for GiveMeSport? Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE: https://www.givemesport.com/writeforgms