Ashley Cole has reportedly agreed to sign a new contract with Chelsea, with the club expected to announce the deal within the next 24 hours. The 32-year-old's current deal is due to expire at the end of the season, and he had been linked with a move abroad, with interest from Real Madrid and Paris St-Germain.
Cole, who has 99 England caps, has been an ever-present in the Chelsea team since moving across London in 2006 from Arsenal, who Chelsea face tomorrow. During his time at Chelsea, the left-back has won one Premier League title, four FA Cups, one League Cup and was also part of the team that beat Bayern Munich in last year's Champions' League final.
While his spell at the club has not been without controversy – two years ago he shot a work placement student with an air rifle at Cobham – on the pitch he remains one of the most consistent players in Europe.
Rafael Benitez said when taking over as interim manager that he expected Cole and 34-year-old Frank Lampard, who is also out of contract, to leave the club. But Chelsea have been in talks with Cole over the past few weeks in a bid to keep the defender at Stamford Bridge.
It remains to be seen whether the agreement with Cole will have any impact on Lampard's hopes of also staying at the club.