With the England starâs Âcontract expiring next June, coach Carlo Ancelottiâs Âtactical switch fuelled theÂ belief that Cole will quit ÂStamford Bridge at the end of this season.
Chelsea coach Ray Wilkins revealed afterwards that the decision was tactical and that there was no injury problem.
Wilkins said: âWe have a squad full of quality and the manager will change things.
âJoe wasnât injured, but he has been out a long while with an injury and is coming back. But we are not concerned.â
The suggestion of any split between Cole and his club will convince Manchester City, Manchester United and ÂTottenham that they can lure him away from Stamford Bridge as a free agent, says the Sunday Mirror.