Ashley Cole has stated that he wants to stay at Stamford Bridge past the end of this season.
With the ever-expending Chelsea squad and the influx of foreign talent, it remains to be seen just how long the side’s home-grown veterans have left at the club.
John Terry, Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole are seemingly all vital parts of Jose Mourinho’s plans for this season, but with Roman Abramovich putting an emphasis on youth, just how long they have left in west London is unknown.
Cole’s contract expires in the summer, and similar to this time last year, speculation over where he will play his football next season is rife in the media.
The England international signed a one-year extension ahead of this campaign, and has revealed that he wants to prolong his playing time with the Blues.
"I signed an extension at the start of the year and so have this year left," Cole said.
"However, that will be up at the end of the season. I hope to stay for longer.
"I have had a great time here, a great career here and, of course, I'd love to stay if they still want me. There is going to be a time when they will have to replace me.
"I have Ryan Bertrand in my place and one day I'm going to want to watch him play, so the time will come when I will finish my career."
Cole’s public desire to stay at Stamford Bridge is reassuring for the club, but whether he will get a new deal is unknown.
The defender’s experience is undeniable and it feels like the former Arsenal man still has what it takes to play at the highest level for club and country.
That said, Abramovich allowed Didier Drogba to leave the club despite the Ivorian being a club legend and leading the side to the Champions League crown.
Ryan Bertrand will be pleased to hear the veteran mentioning him as his successor, especially given the recruitment policy of buying from overseas of late.
Bertrand got a rare start in the Capital One Cup against Arsenal last night, but had to watch-on as right-back Cesar Azpilicueta was preferred, out of position, against Schalke in the Champions League.
It is hard to predict whether Cole, Bertrand or a new signing will be Chelsea’s first-choice left-back next term, but Mourinho certainly has considerable options available to him.