Cole to extend Chelsea contract

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The Independent Online

As if to round off a personally satisfying week, Joe Cole last night said he will put pen to paper this summer and extend his career with Chelsea.

The midfielder set up one goal and scored the winner in England's midweek game against Uruguay and is now expecting to sign a new deal at the season's end, three years after joining Chelsea from West Ham United for £6.6m. Cole, 24, intended to agree a new deal last year but it was postponed as his club signed Shaun Wright-Phillips and Michael Essien.

With his place in Jose Mourinho's plans as firm as it can be under the Portuguese manager, Cole can see no reason not to pledge his future to the club.

"My mind is clear," he said. "If Chelsea want me it will be done. I was going to sign last summer but it got held up with the Michael Essien deal taking so long. We all agreed it was better to concentrate on my football than have talks. It will be done in the summer. There is no doubt in my mind. Playing for Chelsea at the moment, there is no reason for players to want to leave. I certainly don't."

The arrival of Essien and Wright-Phillips has not jeopardised Cole's prospects and he welcomes the possibility of further competition if Michael Ballack signs from Bayern Munich.

"Last year I was on a beach in Barbados and I heard we signed Essien and Wright-Phillips, who play in the two positions I play," he said. "You've got to keep on your toes and there's always a challenge ahead."

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