Chelsea latest: Including Cole’s century and Paulinho

A round-up of news and views relating to Chelsea over the past 24 hours.

Speaking ahead of his 100th cap this evening, Ashley Cole revealed how overwhelmed he is to be reaching such a milestone:

"I never thought a little boy from the East End would get a chance to represent my country.

"I am proud, privileged and overwhelmed by how many times I have done it. When I retire I will look back and think I achieved something."

Former Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho has spoken in glowing terms about Cole, and also suggested the left back could play at the top level for five more years. Whilst on HITC today, Mathew Nash looks at the possibility that Cole could be booed by his own fans during his 100th game for his country.

Demba Ba has flown to Italy to have a mask fitted over his broken nose in an effort to be fit to play against Wigan this weekend. Ba’s nose was broken during Chelsea’s 3-2 loss at Newcastle last weekend.

Romelu Lukaku has said he is looking forward to returning to Chelsea in the summer, and that he wants to become a club legend:

My aim is to play at the Bridge and to be a legend over there in the future.

"That is the dream. That's what I signed for Chelsea for.”

Kia Joorabchian, the agent of reported Chelsea target Paulinho, has said that the 24 year old midfielder is likely to move to Europe this summer. Joorabchian said that they had already turned down offers for the player in the last transfer window, but this summer might see the player leave Corinthians.

Chelsea have joined 15 other Premier League clubs in backing tighter financial regulations in the Premiership. Manchester City are one of the clubs opposed to the proposals, but only 14 teams need to agree to introduce the changes, which would a bring in long-term broad acceptance of UEFA's FFP break-even policy, and a shorter-term salary cap.

With Rafa Benitez perhaps unlikely even to make the end of the season, there has been plenty of speculation over who will replace the Spaniard at Stamford Bridge. On HITC today, Lewis Doe suggests that Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp could be the ideal man for the job.

Elsewhere on HITC, we look at whether Chelsea’s January pursuit of Jack Butland will see Thibaut Courtois leave in the summer.

image: © p_a_h

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