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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 17:21 GMT 18:21 UK
Cole 'tapping' inquiry date set
Ashley Cole
The Premier League has announced that the inquiry into Chelsea's alleged "tapping" of Arsenal defender Ashley Cole will be held on 17 and 18 May.

The date was revealed as manager Arsene Wenger claimed he was "100% certain" Cole would stay at Arsenal.

Cole met Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho and chief executive Peter Kenyon in a London hotel in January without Arsenal's permission for talks.

The 24-year-old plays for Arsenal at Chelsea on Wednesday.

Cole was formally charged under Rule K5, governing approaches from players to clubs. Chelsea were charged under Rule K3 which governs approaches from clubs to players.

Mourinho was charged under Rule Q governing manager's conduct, and the Premier League said the "complexity" of the case had meant it had been delayed.

But Wenger is confident Cole will stay at Arsenal and sign a new long-term contract.

He insisted Arsenal's only failure was in not reaching immediate agreement with Cole's agent Barnett, in their initial meeting over the defender's proposed improved contract.

Wenger said: "I'm 100% certain Ashley will stay and sign a new contract. It's my desire for him to stay and I think that he's happy here.

"You could maybe find us guilty as we didn't find an agreement with Ashley Cole's agent. But that happens in every story and it's sometimes a question of time.

"What have we done wrong? I've been at Arsenal for nine years and how can you believe that I would renege on a deal? It's not true.

"Ashley Cole was never in that meeting. It is just a statement made by an agent, that's all."





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