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Roberto Di Matteo ‘Optimistic’ Over New Ashley Cole Contract

Roberto Di Matteo said he is “very optimistic” Ashley Cole will extend his Chelsea contract before the January transfer window opens.

Afterward this weekend’s game against Stoke, Di Matteo hailed the left-back as a Stamford Bridge “legend” and said he remains hopeful Cole will agree to a new deal with the club, as his current contract expires next summer.

“I’m very optimistic that it will be dealt with before [January],” Di Matteo said. “He has become a legend – he is now Chelsea through and through.

“But I wouldn’t say it’s just happened recently. He’s been here many years and has contributed a lot to this club. He’s a fantastic pro, which I’m not sure whether you know.

“Somebody that’s the first one out in training, one of the first into the building with JT [John Terry], trains every day like a professional, reliable, somebody that you could go to war with.

“And he’s a very quiet guy as well. He’s very private at his own stuff. He’s one of the best left-backs in the world.”

Cole suffers from a persistent ankle problem that can limit his ability to train but Di Matteo said:

“He’s physically very good, very strong, has the ability to recover very quickly from game to game. Offers us a lot on that left hand side.”

If you substitute the word Cole with Walcott and Di Matteo for Wenger you get almost the exact same thing that Arsenal have been saying about Walcott signing a new deal.

I must say that I am still amazed that Chelsea have left it this late to sign Cole to a new deal. Why would Cole sign a new deal now, when in January he can find out what he is worth on the open market?