Man Utd alerted to Cole contract delay at Chelsea

Manchester United are being linked with Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole.

Manchester United are being linked with Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole.

The Times says Chelsea remain confident that Cole, who joined the club seven years ago, will sign a new deal, but little progress has been made in the course of negotiations that began 18 months ago. Cole is understood to be demanding parity with Michael Essien and Nicolas Anelka, who are both paid £120,000 a week. Chelsea’s most recent offer is in the region of £100,000, which still represents a considerable increase on his £80,000-a-week salary.

Cole is free to sign a pre-contract agreement with a foreign club at the moment, although he has not received any offers since stressing his desire to stay in a joint statement released with Chelsea after a tentative inquiry from Tottenham Hotspur last August. That would almost certainly change if he was available for free in the summer. Sir Alex Ferguson has long been an admirer of Cole’s creativity, while Liverpool and Manchester City would also be keen to speak to the player.