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Last Updated: Tuesday, 8 August 2006, 21:54 GMT 22:54 UK
Chelsea issue deadline over Cole
Ashley Cole
Chelsea want Cole but no fee has yet been agreed
Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho says Arsenal need to make up their minds about the possible transfer of Ashley Cole before the end of the week.

The Blues have made an offer for Cole, but Mourinho claimed he may look at other full-back transfer targets if the issue is not resolved quickly.

"It is in their hands and we have to wait," said Mourinho.

"If we have no solution about him in a couple of days, we turn the corner and we see other faces."

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, who also called for a swift resolution to the long-running saga earlier this week, said the club had plans in place should Cole leave.

"Many big players have left the club in my nine years," he said.

"However, Ashley Cole has not left yet, and if he does, we still have players who can come in for him or we can buy."

The 25-year-old has repeatedly been linked with a move to Stamford Bridge.

There is a space in our squad for another left-back because we only have one real left-back

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho

"What can I do? Arsenal has an offer from Chelsea. If they accept, they accept, if they don't accept, they don't," added Mourinho.

"If Arsenal decide to sell the player, that is OK. But the player belongs to Arsenal, we cannot do anything about it.

"We have other options. We are waiting for decisions but we have other options. We cannot play a whole season only with Wayne Bridge.

"There is a space in our squad for another left-back because we only have one real left-back."

Cole was not named in Arsenal's Champions League squad for the 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb, meaning he could play for Chelsea in Europe if he was to be transferred.

Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein has admitted that initial talks between the two London clubs have taken place.

Chelsea were fined - together with Blues manager Jose Mourinho and Cole - in June 2005 after they breached league rules by meeting without Arsenal's knowledge.

Cole's relationship with the Gunners has been strained of late and in promotional material for his new book the defender criticised Arsenal for making him a "scapegoat" over the tapping-up affair.



SEE ALSO
Henry will miss European opener
01 Aug 06 |  Arsenal
Cole signs new deal with Arsenal
18 Jul 05 |  Arsenal
Chelsea, Mourinho and Cole fined
01 Jun 05 |  Premiership


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