Cole set to sign new Arsenal deal after change of heart

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The Independent Football

Despite blaming the club's vice-chairman, David Dein, for his part in the Premier League inquiry that left Cole, 24, with a £100,000 fine, and the England international's subsequent excoriating attack on the club in the News of the World, he is about to sign a new three-year deal.

That will keep Cole contracted to Arsenal for one year longer than his current deal and will be negotiated by Jonathan Barnett, the agent blamed by Arsenal for taking the player to the infamous meeting with the Chelsea's manager, Jose Mourinho and their chief executive, Peter Kenyon, on 27 January.

It now seems unlikely that Cole, as promised by his lawyer, Graham Shear, will test the Premier League's anti-tapping up rules in the European courts in an attempt to overturn his fine from the commission. However, the player will be uncertain about the reception he will get when he returns to Highbury after accusing the board of treating him "like a little kid" and claiming that he could never come back.

The Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has risked a disrepute charge of his own after agreeing with Mourinho's assertion that the fixture list is weighted in favour of Arsenal. The Scot made the remarks after Mourinho pointed out last week that Arsenal had been given home fixtures on five out of the six weekends following games in the Champions' League group stages this season.

"He's dead right," Ferguson said. "You look at the fixtures Arsenal have after European games - it has been going on for years. He's only taken a year to find that out. I have been complaining about that for seven years and no one listens to me. Maybe they will listen to Mourinho more.

"I can't believe some of the things Chelsea have done in the transfer market - it's incredible. But I also believe we have the players to win the League."

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