The Sun says Cole suffered knee ligament damage last week and will miss the rest of the season.
Scolari had been told funds to bring in new players this month would only be available in the case of a situation such as Cole’s.
However, whether the manager is allowed to buy a player depends on the amount of faith the Chelsea board have in him.
After poor form and bad results, the hierarchy are reserving judgment.
That means a loan deal until the end of the season is more likely, with Liverpool winger Jermaine Pennant and Spurs ace David Bentley his targets.