Joe Cole Set To Quit Chelsea For Manchester City?

With Joe Cole out of contract at Chelsea in the summer, there’s no surprise in there being a few Premiership Clubs ‘poking their noses’ into the status of the current situation regarding the player at the moment.

Negotiations are currently under way between Joe Cole and Chelsea, with Cole wanting around £50,000 extra on top of the £80,000 a week he is currently on. However, Chelsea are rumoured to be only willing to add a £20,000 increase.

Therefore, it is no wonder Manchester United, Manchester City and Tottenham are eyeing up the winger, who was out of football for 9 months earlier this season with a knee injury. With negotiations currently stalled, and neither side willing to back down, it looks as if things are about to get interesting.

City, United and Spurs are long-term admirers. But the Eastlands club, who failed in an audacious bid to land Chelsea and England captain John Terry last summer, are more confident that they can fulfil Cole’s current wage demands. With Cole being out of contract in the summer, City wouldn’t have to pay any compensation to Chelsea, meaning Cole wouldbe the big earner. And in the current economic climate it seems both United and Tottenham will find it ­impossible to match a City offer that would include a £5m signing on fee and wages of about £150,000 a week.

United boss Sir Alex Ferguson made two approaches to West Ham in a bid to prise the player from their academy before Cole made his senior debut. Fergie openly rated Cole the most naturally gifted English player of his generation.

Harry Redknapp, the Hammers boss approached by Fergie back in the late 90s, turned down the Old Trafford overtures. Since then Redknapp has never disguised his admiration for Cole who he once claimed was the most skilful player he had ever come across.

He would relish having Cole in his squad again. Sources close to Cole claim he’s unlikely to back down in talks with Chelsea and is well aware he retains a position of strength in negotiations. He could potentially sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club if Chelsea laboured in negotiations and allowed him to reach the final months of his current deal.

They are unlikely to be impressed by City’s interest following the war of words that erupted after they tried to lure away Terry from the club by going public about their ­interest in the England captain.

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