I want Ashley Cole to stay at Chelsea - Di Matteo

The Blues manager expresses his hope that the England left-back signs a new contract with the European champions but understands that the board will make the final decision
Chelsea manager Roberto Di Matteo is adamant that he wants Ashley Cole to sign a new contract and stay with the club, despite reported interest from Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

The left-back's current deal expires in the summer but he is subject to club owner Roman Abramovich's contract extension policy, which only permits offers of a one-year extension to players over 30 - a main reason why Dider Drogba left the London club at the end of last season.

Foreign sides will be able to offer Cole pre-contract proposals from January and officially sign him once his time with Chelsea is over, meaning that the Blues' board only have around two months to tie their man down safely.

16/1 Ashley Cole is 16/1 with William Hill to score anytime in Chelsea v Manchester United
"My recommendation and wish is that he stays but, ultimately, the board makes the final ­decision on those issues," Di Matteo told reporters of Cole.

"That's ongoing. It's something he ­discusses ­directly with the club.

"Of course Ashley could get offers in January but that is the world of football and that's how you live in this world, in this ­industry. Nobody knows what the future will hold.

"Ashley still has many years in front of him. He is a fit boy and can play in every game.

"He is definitely one of the best left-backs in the world."

Should he decide to reject a one-year contract extension at Stamford Bridge, Cole could potentially reunite with a former Blues boss. PSG coach Carlo Ancelotti and Real Madrid boss Jose Mourinho are both said to be keen to link up again with their former charge.