Another hectic post season day saw Chelsea announce that they won’t be offering Joe Cole, Michael Ballack and Juliano Belletti new contracts when their current deals run out at the end of the month.
Apparently Ballack was surprised, according to his agent. Why? I certainly wasn’t. He’s 33, injured, on over a hundred grand a week, and looks well off the pace and past his best.
His wages alone could fund a transfer fee and the wages of a far younger more mobile performer. Maybe Ancelotti has a reserve player earmarked to step up to the first team squad? Either way his departure should signal an opportunity for someone.
The decision to let Joe Cole leave is a strange one for me. Clearly Chelsea didn’t think Cole was worth what he was asking for.
Was Cole asking too much money for his last real big contract? Who knows. Maybe he and Ancelotti differed over their views on what role Joe would be playing in the team. Malouda and Kalou seemed to be Ancelotti’s preferred wide men last season.
Also the Italian didn’t really send out the message that he wanted him to stay with the sparse way he used Cole towards end of last season, nearly costing Cole his place in the England 23 for the World Cup.
Where he now ends up will be interesting to see, he can basically go anywhere in England.
Tottenham are interested, Manchester City will no doubt throw their hat in the ring, Alex Ferguson apparently tried to buy him from West Ham as a younster, and would Arsene Wenger maybe see him as a replacement for Cesc Fabregas?
Harry Redknapp has been his usual media friendly inconsistent self. Last week he told 5 Live that he believed Cole had already agreed to sign for someone else.
Then this week he has told Talksport that he is interested in signing him, and that he has contacted Cole’s agent to let him know he wants him!
Alex Ferguson’s claim that he dosen’t intend to spend big this summer means a free transfer signing would fit the bill, Cole would be handy to play in the creative midfield role being rotated by the ageing Giggs and Scholes.
The intriguing one for me is Arsenal, and there were strong rumours circulating last week that Cole had agreed to join the Gunners. Would Wenger see him as a replacement for Fabregas? I find it hard to see that, but what other role would Wenger have for him with the likes of Nasri and Rosicky at the club?
With Aaron Ramsey (probably lined up for the Fabregas role) out injured. Maybe Wenger might see Cole filling the void while Ramsey recovers and then becomes of age?
Also Wenger signing an Englishman! That dosen’t happen very often.