Tag Archives: tussle

Ashley Cole ruled out for two weeks but Rafa Benitez insists Chelsea can cope against Rubin Kazan

Cole ruled out for two weeks but Benitez insists Chelsea can cope in Kazan crunch

By
Matt Barlow

PUBLISHED:

12:35 GMT, 3 April 2013

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UPDATED:

13:07 GMT, 3 April 2013

Rafa Benitez has revealed that Chelsea will be without Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill for at least two weeks.

Cole was rested for the Premier League defeat by Southampton but returned to face Manchester United in Chelsea’s FA Cup quarter-final victory at Stamford Bridge.

But he injured his hamstring in the opening quarter of the match and was replaced by Ryan Bertrand – who may end up having to play four times in a week.

Look here: Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez and defender Ryan Bertrand speak to the press on Wednesday

Look here: Chelsea boss Rafael Benitez and defender Ryan Bertrand speak to the press on Wednesday

All smiles: John Terry (centre left) and Juan Mata (centre right) tussle during Chelsea training on Wednesday

All smiles: John Terry (centre left) and Juan Mata (centre right) tussle during Chelsea training on Wednesday

Ahead of Thursday night’s match
against Rubin Kazan, Benitez said: ‘I’d say at least two weeks for both
Ashley Cole and Gary Cahill. We are without Oriol Romeu as you know and
Demba Ba cannot play. That’s it.

‘You train to do little things because you do not have much time and you cannot push too hard.

‘We concentrate one game at a time so we pick a team who can win any game and concentrate on this game. They have to be ready for any game.

‘Since I came and with the fixtures we have I think we’re doing really well.’

The victory over United has proved a huge boost for the under-fire manager, at a club who have become somewhat FA Cup specialists.

‘We proved against a team at the top of the table and a manager with the most trophies in England that we can compete against anyone if we have the time and players available. One game every three days, you cannot do everything you want to do. I’m happy with what we’re doing. It was an important game for us. We did really well against United and it shows we can reach this level. We played against a very good team.’

Bertrand added: ‘Ashley’s injury means it’s a chance for me to come in and play in the next few games but it’s important to focus on the next game and make sure we get the right result.

‘As a player you want to win each game you go into and as far in every competition as you can.'

Asked about Rubin, he said: ‘They’ve done well, they’ve knocked out the holders and they will give us tough competition.’

Limped off: Ashley Cole was injured in the FA Cup replay victory over Manchester United on Monday

Limped off: Ashley Cole was injured in the FA Cup replay victory over Manchester United on Monday

Crocked: Centre-back Gary Cahill (left) also faces a spell on the sidelines due to injury

Crocked: Centre-back Gary Cahill (left) also faces a spell on the sidelines due to injury

Soldiering on: Fernando Torres is ready to face Rubin Kazan despite his facial injury

Soldiering on: Fernando Torres is ready to face Rubin Kazan despite his facial injury

London Welsh 25 Sale 26: Danny Cipriani edges out Gavin Henson in relegation battle

London Welsh 25 Sale 26: Cipriani comes edges out Henson in relegation battle

By
Rob Wildman

PUBLISHED:

17:57 GMT, 17 February 2013

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UPDATED:

00:06 GMT, 18 February 2013

Gavin versus Danny proved to be an evenly-fought sideshow at the Kassam Stadium on Sunday in a raw relegation battle.

Sale edged the tussle thanks to tries either side of half-time which helped them to only their fourth Premiership win of the season.

If their careers had gone to plan Gavin Henson and Danny Cipriani would have been preparing for Six Nations games rather than being rival club fly halves as they attempt to rebuild careers.

Fluency: Sale's Danny Cipriani was the linchpin in a vital win for the Sharks over their fellow relegation strugglers

Fluency: Sale's Danny Cipriani was the linchpin in a vital win for the Sharks over their fellow strugglers

Both enjoyed impressive games. Henson
took the London Welsh sponsor’s man-of-the-match award, but it was
Cipriani’s Sale who emerged victorious in a fraught, penalty–strewn
game.

‘Relief, that’s the best word,’ said
Steve Diamond, Sale’s director of rugby. ‘But we are still bottom and
have Harlequins and Leicester to come in the next two weeks so we are
not out of the mire.’

Yet Sale are daring to hope at the
bottom of the 12-team competition. This was a second successive win,
following a similar triumph over Exeter, and four points here put them a
point behind 11th-placed London Irish and three off Welsh.

Battle: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills is tackled by Sale Sharks' Dan Baird

Battle: London Welsh's Jonathan Mills is tackled by Sale Sharks' Dan Baird

And there is
no doubting that in Cipriani they have an attacking No 10 who could yet
lead them to safety.

He helped make a crucial try for
scrum-half Will Cliff just before half-time, producing the acceleration
and distribution, alongside wing Charlie Amesbury, which gained him
England recognition.

He also kicked 13 points before being
replaced by Nick Macleod who is considered to be more dependable and a
better defender for such tense finales.

Offload: Sale's Danny Cipriani passes under the attention of London Welsh's Adam Balding

Offload: Sale's Danny Cipriani passes under the attention of London Welsh's Adam Balding

Henson, playing his first full game in
three months due to injury, also produced play that brought back
memories of his best days for Wales. He landed one long-distance penalty
attempt and set up wing Phil Mackenzie for his team’s only try in the
48th minute.

It was a beautifully-timed pass by
Henson whose conversion put Welsh 22-20 ahead. He then banged over a
second penalty to increase the lead to 25-20 only for Cipriani to reply
in the 60th minute.

It was Cipriani’s last contribution,
Macleod kicking the penalty nine minutes from time which put his team a
decisive 26-25 ahead.

Strike: Gavin Henson scored eight points for Welsh, but that was not enough

Strike: Gavin Henson scored eight points for Welsh, but that was not enough

Stopped: London Welsh's Julio Cabello falls short of the line as Welsh looked to get a late winner

Stopped: London Welsh's Julio Cabello falls short of the line as Welsh looked to get a late winner

Welsh’s head coach Lyn Jones said: ‘We
just did not take our chances when we had them.’ After Cipriani put
Sale ahead in the ninth minute, Welsh fed off Sale’s poor discipline
for Alex Davies to kick three penalty goals followed by Henson’s
long-distance toe-bunger.

But it was a series of rash Welsh errors which allowed Sale back.

Cipriani kicked another penalty and then escaped down the right, with Amesbury, to make Cliff’s try

Sale continued on the attack after the
break and Dan Braid, an impressive arrival from New Zealand, scampered
in for the second try.

Welsh regained the lead when Henson made Mackenzie’s try but Sale held their nerve.

Five points: Phil MacKenzie of London Welsh dives over to score their only try of the match

Five points: Phil MacKenzie of London Welsh dives over to score their only try of the match

Alex Ferguson says Manchester United will not buy in January transfer window

Window of opportunity: Man City offered January hope in title race as Fergie rules out signing reinforcements for United (so, will Mancini swoop for Walcott)

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UPDATED:

10:12 GMT, 18 December 2012

Sir Alex Ferguson has ruled out making any January signings to bolster Manchester United’s bid for the Barclays Premier League title, leaving the window open for rivals City to strengthen their squad and catch up with the league leaders.

While City manager Roberto Mancini is expected to add to his star-studded squad as he desperately looks to defend his Premier League title, Ferguson has ruled moving for anyone, including Arsenal’s Theo Walcott.

No go: Sir Alex Ferguson will not be signing anyone in January

No go: Sir Alex Ferguson will not be signing anyone in January

Walcott’s negotiations over a new contract at the Emirates is ongoing, but Ferguson is refusing to spend an inflated January fee.

Asked if he would make a single signing during the winter window, Ferguson told Yahoo: ‘No, the January transfer market has never been the best transfer market and that has been proven over the years with very few big transfers happening. All the big transfers happen in the summer.’

The United manager, who saw his team maintain their six-point lead over neighbours Manchester City with a 3-1 win over Sunderland on Saturday, is adamant he will not be doing any business in the transfer window unless it is to allow several of his reserve-team players to go out on loan.

Wanted man: Theo Walcott could be at the centre of a transfer tussle

Wanted man: Theo Walcott could be at the centre of a transfer tussle

Ferguson, who rarely takes advantage of the mid-season opportunity to augment his first-team squad, believes he has enough resources to cope with challenging for the Premier League title and the European and FA Cups.

‘I will not be bringing anybody in, in January – definitely not,’ he confirmed.

It means that while title rivals City
are targeting Atletic Bilbao’s Fernano Llorente; Chelsea are ready to
splash on Atletico Madrid’s Radamel Falcao and Walcott and Liverpool
want Chelsea’s Daniel Sturridge and Tom Ince from Blackpool, the United
boss will stick with what he has as the club chase a 20th league title.

How many do you want Roberto Mancini is expected to buy

How many do you want Roberto Mancini is expected to buy

Walcott’s future at Arsenal is in doubt with the club refusing to agree to his contract demands. But if the Gunners decide to cash in on the winger in January, he is now more likely to end up at Stamford Bridge than Old Trafford.

Ferguson’s confidence comes from now having a fully fit squad at his disposal after skipper Nemanja Vidic returned to the team as a second-half substitute against Sunderland.

‘It will take him a bit of time but that is a start,’ Ferguson said. ‘He is a warrior and he is our captain. He always battles for you and sticks his head on that ball in the penalty area. That is what he is great at.’

Goals from Robin van Persie, Tom Cleverley and Wayne Rooney were enough to claim all three points and Ferguson added: ‘People keep saying we are weak in midfield but these guys are very good players.’

For more insight from Sir Alex Ferguson and other leading managers plus exclusive Barclays Premier League highlights go to www.yahoo.co.uk/sport

Bafetimbi Gomis set to spark transfer tussle between Chelsea and Liverpool

Chelsea and Liverpool braced for transfer tussle over France striker Gomis

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UPDATED:

10:02 GMT, 17 December 2012

Chelsea and Liverpool are ready to fight it out for the signature of Lyon striker Bafetimbi Gomis in the January transfer window, according to reports in France.

Canal Plus claim that both clubs sent scouts to watch the 27-year-old France international in Sunday night's clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

Reports suggest that the Blues are already in negotiations with Lyon over Gomis, who has been likened to Didier Drogba in style.

Attracting attention: Bafetimbi Gomis has been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea

Attracting attention: Bafetimbi Gomis has been linked with Liverpool and Chelsea

Gomis has scored 10 goals in 17 games this season to help the club keep up their challenge at the top of Ligue 1.

Lyon are in financial trouble and sold France No 1 Hugo Lloris to Tottenham in the summer to ease the strain.

Chelsea are known to be in the market for a striker with Fernando Torres under no real pressure for a starting place.

The only other striker in Chelsea's squad, Daniel Sturridge, is expected to leave the club during the next transfer window with Anfield his most likely destination.

But should Liverpool not agree a deal with Chelsea for the young England forward they are likely to ramp up their interest in Gomis.

John Higgins hits 147 but loses to Mark Davis

Higgins hits 147 but suffers agonising defeat to Davis in UK Championship

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UPDATED:

00:18 GMT, 6 December 2012

John Higgins fired the seventh maximum break of his career but it was small consolation as he bowed out to Mark Davis after a thrilling contest in round two of the williamhill.com UK Championship.

Davis won 6-5, having looked to have blown his chance when he led 5-2 but allowed Higgins back to 5-5.

A lifeline came his way though when Higgins, seemingly on a victory charge, missed the pink. Davis got it, and that was enough. He will take on Matthew Stevens in the quarter-finals.

Spot on: John Higgins after scoring a 147 during his second round match

Spot on: John Higgins after scoring a 147 during his second round match

'I'm gutted. Normally clearing up in the last frame I'd have done it,' Higgins said. 'I didn't deserve to win that match. Who knows where the 147 came from'

The four-time world champion initially looked a beaten man when Davis pulled to within a frame of victory with back-to-back breaks of 106 and 103.

A comeback by the Wishaw man was fired by the 147 in the eighth frame, bringing the crowd at York's Barbican Centre to their feet and rousing the 37-year-old Scot who earns 10,000 for his effort.

Higgins got back to 5-5 but again looked to be heading out as 40-year-old Hastings potter Davis built a 53-0 lead in the deciding frame.

There was a twist, as Davis missed a difficult red to centre that gave Higgins a half chance. In went a brilliant long red to the yellow pocket, and he reached 49, the pink seemingly a formality with the black surely to follow.

Through: Mark Davis recovered to beat Higgins and progress in York

Through: Mark Davis recovered to beat Higgins and progress in York

Somehow Higgins missed, and after a safety tussle he left Davis a difficult cut to the yellow pocket, which he made quite brilliantly. It was the ball he required, and Higgins rose from his chair to offer a congratulatory handshake.

Delighted winner Davis said: “I didn't expect John to miss the pink but he wasn't just rolling it in. It was a tough shot under pressure.

'It gave me another chance which in the end I managed to take. I was going for doubles and all sorts in the end. It was like the 1985 World Championship final.'

Asked where it ranked in his victories, Davis said: 'This is at the top. I've not got a good record against John at all. It's my best result for a very long time.'

West Brom 2 Southampton 0: Peter Odemwingie scores twice

West Brom 2 Southampton 0: Odemwingie double piles pressure on Adkins

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UPDATED:

21:52 GMT, 5 November 2012

Peter Odemwingie struck twice to send West Brom up into fifth in the Premier League as Southampton remain rooted to the bottom of the table.

The result piles even more pressure on Saints boss Nigel Adkins, who's side have now won just one of their 10 games this season and sit five points adrift of safety.

Peter the Great: Odemwingie was the man of the hour for West Brom

Peter the Great: Odemwingie was the man of the hour for West Brom

MATCH FACTS

West Brom: Foster, Jones, McAuley, Olsson, Ridgewell, Mulumbu, Yacob, Odemwingie (Fortune 83), Gera, Dorrans (Brunt 65), Long (Lukaku 71).

Subs not used: Myhill, Popov, Rosenberg, Tamas.

Booked: Jones.

Goals: Odemwingie 36, 60.

Southampton: Gazzaniga, Clyne, Fonte, Yoshida, Fox (Shaw 82), Schneiderlin, Steven Davis, Ramirez (Mayuka 76), Lallana, Rodriguez (Do Prado 76), Lambert.

Subs not used: Kelvin Davis, Hooiveld, Ward-Prowse, Puncheon.

Referee: Mark Halsey (Lancashire)

Latest Premier League table and results

More to follow…

High hopes: Southampton keeper Gazzaniga rises to clear a cross

High hopes: Southampton keeper Gazzaniga rises to clear a cross

Eyes on the ball: Jay Rodriguez (left) competes with Youssuf Mulumbu

Eyes on the ball: Jay Rodriguez (left) competes with Youssuf Mulumbu

Swooping to pounce: Odemwingie heads home the second

Swooping to pounce: Odemwingie heads home the second

Under pressure: Adkins could be heading for the exit door at St Mary's

Under pressure: Adkins could be heading for the exit door at St Mary's

Midfield tussle: Morgan Schneiderlin (left) is closed down by West Brom's Argentine midfielder Claudio Yacob

Midfield tussle: Morgan Schneiderlin (left) is closed down by West Brom's Argentine midfielder Claudio Yacob

Boing, boing: The Baggies are up to fifth

Boing, boing: The Baggies are up to fifth

Boing, boing: The Baggies are up to fifth

Paolo Di Canio and Steve King prepare for FA Cup tie

It's the FA Cup catwalk: Suave bosses Di Canio and King go head-to-head in the battle of the suits

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UPDATED:

13:13 GMT, 2 November 2012

Fashionista: Di Canio

Fashionista: Di Canio

Saturday's FA Cup tie between Swindon and Macclesfield could be as interesting for the fashion battle on the touchline as it will be for the tussle between the two teams on the pitch.

Paolo Di Canio welcomes Steve King's Macclesfield to the County Ground, and for once the Italian might have a contender to outdress him as he looks to progress to the second round.

Di Canio is ready for any challenge that King may pose him though, and he has warned his rival that his famous green coat is primed and ready for the occasion.

Asked what he would be wearing on Saturday, the boss of the League One Robins told Blue Square Bet: 'For me you always have to wear stylish shoes, even sporty trainers can be stylish. I like Church’s shoes myself.

'A watch is also essential in my opinion as it gives you an insight into someone’s personality and says a lot.

'I’m usually known for wearing a stylish coat on the touchline and my green one will be coming out the locker again this weekend.

'As for fashion pet hates I don’t like it when people wear their jeans or trousers very low, and wearing a cap backwards or wearing flip flops are absolutely awful when it comes to style.'

Pretender: King intends to wear tweed on Saturday

Pretender: King intends to wear tweed on Saturday

Not to be overawed, King – whose Macclesfield side play in the Blue Square Bet Premier – has already planned what he will be wearing on Saturday afternoon.

'Skinny suits are key to looking the part on match day and I’m always keeping up to date with fashion as you need to stay on the pulse,' he said.

'Tweed is making a big comeback at the moment and I will be rocking it this weekend.

'One key bit of advice from me is that looking after your appearance is vital and a haircut at least once a month is a must to looking sharp.'

Lewis Hamilton left "heartbroken" – Indian Grand Prix

Hamilton left 'heartbroken' as British star is cast adrift in race for Formula One title

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UPDATED:

15:56 GMT, 28 October 2012

Lewis Hamilton admitted the final nail being hammered into the coffin of his Formula One world title hopes this season was 'heartbreaking'.

Hamilton went into the Indian Grand Prix with only a slender chance of finishing his final season with McLaren by claiming the title.

At the end of it, and following a fourth consecutive victory for the dominant Sebastian Vettel in his Red Bull, there is no longer light at the end of the tunnel.

Out of the running: Hamilton won't end his McLaren stay with a second world title

Out of the running: Hamilton won't end his McLaren stay with a second world title

Hamilton finished fourth and now trails Vettel by 75 points with 75 available from the last three races in Abu Dhabi next Sunday, the United States and Brazil.

Put into perspective, ahead of the Singapore Grand Prix where Vettel began his winning streak, Hamilton led the 24-year-old German by two points.

'I'm not happy with the result because I've lost the world title, so it's heartbreaking, but that's the way it goes,' said Hamilton.

Cast adrift: Hamilton is 75 points adrift of Vettel with three grands prix remaining

Cast adrift: Hamilton is 75 points adrift of Vettel with three grands prix remaining

The result may be one thing, but the performance was another as the 27-year-old Briton came within 0.6secs of a place on the podium.

A woeful start, described by Hamilton as 'a disaster, brutal, terrible', let him down and left him searching for answers from his team. Hamilton said: 'I asked the team “please tell me what I'm doing wrong so I can fix it”.

'But they've said I'm doing everything right, that it was perfect, so I don't know. It's something we're going to have to investigate.'

Hats off: Alonso is 13 points adrift of Vettel after the German's fourth consecutive victory

Hats off: Alonso is 13 points adrift of Vettel after the German's fourth consecutive victory

It resulted in a phenomenal first-lap tussle between himself, team-mate Jenson Button and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso at the end of which Hamilton dropped from third to fifth.

Further issues with the soft-compound tyre and his steering wheel which encountered a downshift failure did not aid his cause, the latter changed along with his tyres in his only pit stop that took just 3.6secs.

But once on the harder tyre in the second half of the 60-lap race, Hamilton and Button were consistently quick, the latter setting the fastest lap on the final lap.

Champagne moment: Vettel is the clear favourite to retain his world title

Champagne moment: Vettel is the clear favourite to retain his world title

'It was a very tough race, but a great race. Within the car it felt great,' said Hamilton.

'It was fantastic at the end. Every second I thought I could catch Mark. You have to believe, and that's why you push.

'But I just wasn't close enough. It's such a shame we didn't have the ultimate pace at the beginning to really challenge the guys in front. 'But I feel proud of myself and proud of the guys.'

For Button, after winning the battle of the champions on the first lap, it was not long before he was passed by first Alonso and then Hamilton, dropping to fifth which is where he eventually finished.

'I've never had the start of a race like that before,' said Button. 'It was a good clean fight, millimetres between us through the first few corners and I really enjoyed it. It was nice to fight like that and come out on top as well.

'But then I just didn't have the pace and they both came past me. The whole first stint was pretty poor.

'Then when we put the hard tyre on, the car felt really good, but I found it very difficult to get past (Romain) Grosjean.

'I lost so much time behind him, and that was my race over for a better position.

'So the first and last laps were great. It's just a shame about all the others in the middle.'

Manchester United midfielder Shinji Kagawa sent for scan on knee injury

Man United midfielder Kagawa faces anxious wait to discover extent of knee injury

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UPDATED:

06:51 GMT, 24 October 2012

Manchester United manager Sir Alex
Ferguson has been left sweating on Shinji Kagawa's fitness after the
Japan midfielder twisted his knee during the first half of Tuesday's
thrilling 3-2 comeback win over Braga.

The result virtually guaranteed the Red Devils a place in the Champions League knockout phase with three games remaining.

But it may come at a price, with Kagawa due for tests on Wednesday to discover the extent of the problem.

Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United feels the pain of an injury

Shinji Kagawa of Manchester United feels the pain of an injury

Concern: Shinji Kagawa feels the pain of an injury

“Kagawa twisted his knee,” Ferguson said. “He struggled on for 20 minutes but we will assess in in the morning because we don't know the extent of it at the moment.”

With goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard also ruled out for a week after suffering a thumb injury in training, Ferguson is likely to be down on numbers for Sunday's crucial Barclays Premier League trip to leaders Chelsea.

Of more concern to the United boss is his team's inability to keep the opposition out. For the eighth time in 12 games this season, United found themselves behind. Indeed, with Alan netting twice they were two adrift before they hauled themselves back into the game.

Two goals from Javier Hernandez either side of Jonny Evans' second in three games gave United their win.

Tussle: Braga's Leandro Salino challenges Shinji Kagawa

Tussle: Braga's Leandro Salino challenges Shinji Kagawa

However, with Chelsea to come twice, and a Premier League home game against Arsenal before the rematch with Braga in a fortnight, Ferguson knows his team could be in trouble unless he finds a solution.

'I can't get to the bottom of it, I am afraid,' he said.

'If you analyse the goals we are losing, they have come from throw-ins, crosses, cut-backs – all sorts. And they are finding players free in the box.

'It is difficult to put your finger on it, and it is a concern because it is making it difficult for us.'

Ferguson reserved particular praise for Hernandez, who found it difficult last season after a stellar debut campaign and is most at risk from Robin van Persie's arrival from Arsenal.

'The boy is improving all the time,' Ferguson said of the Mexican.

'His goal ratio is fantastic and the way he bent his run for the second goal was terrific.

'He is a fantastic trainer and he has given me a problem, which is good.'

Ashley Cole could stay in Premier League as PSG close door

Cole set to spark United v City transfer tussle as PSG pull out of race for Chelsea defender

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UPDATED:

07:46 GMT, 17 October 2012

Ashley Cole could be set to stay in the Premier League after Paris St Germain chief Leonardo closed the door on a move for the Chelsea defender.

Manchester rivals City and United have been keeping a close eye on Cole's situation since Sportsmail revealed the England full-back is ready to walk out at the end of the season after failing to agree terms on a new contract.

Where to now Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is set to leave Stamford Bridge

Where to now Chelsea defender Ashley Cole is set to leave Stamford Bridge

PSG appeared to be favourites to sign Cole amid talk of a three-year deal worth 23million while Real Madrid are also keen on the 31-year-old.

Cole's former boss Carlo Ancelotti is coach of the big-spending club from the French capital but sporting director Leonardo said: 'Besides Lucas [Moura], nothing is done and there is no discussion with any player.'

When asked about Cole, he told Le Parisien: 'Neither this winter nor next season.'

The Blues could get rid of Cole in January if Ryan Bertrand continues his ranks up the rise at Stamford Bridge. Bertrand was called up to the England squad last week.

Cole is reported to be holding out for a two-year deal but the European champions are prepared to offer just 12 months.

Cole has played in 188 out of a possible 235 games in the Premier League since signing from Arsenal six years ago.

He missed the majority of those games in his first two seasons because of problems with his ankles, but he has been reliable in the past four years.

Although Cole has to bathe his ankles in ice after games and has specially-adapted training, he has no fears about playing long term.