With the left-back struggling for game time, his place in England’s World Cup squad looks under threat, while his future at club level remains a source of contention.
With the full-back out of contract in the summer, it remains to be seen whether he will pen an extension in west London or look for a new challenge elsewhere.
Jose Mourinho has preferred Cesar Azpilicueta at left-back this term, and the Portuguese coach’s latest comments regarding Ryan Bertrand suggest the Cole’s chances of playing regularly at Chelsea could be made all the more difficult.
Mourinho has suggested that Bertrand, who is on loan at Aston Villa this season, could well be brought back into the Stamford Bridge fold next season.
"He has a future at Chelsea. A future and a past. Of course he has a future,” Mourinho is quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
"The decision to let him go to Villa was good because he's playing and what he needed was to play every game.
"But maybe next season he is with us."
Bertrand was initially touted as a potential long-term replacement for an ageing Cole, and it appears that this prophecy could well come to fruition.
Bertrand has started seven Premier League games for Villa since agreeing a loan move in January.