Carlo Ancelotti convinced Ashley Cole to stay at Chelsea in the summer. That’s the news straight from the horse’s mouth, as Cole revealed he had considered leaving the Premier League altogether and joining up with former boss Jose Mourinho, now at Real Madrid. Ancelotti, however, persuaded the left-back to stay despite some very public personal issues.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Cole said: “There was a time, in my head, when I thought I needed to leave England. But I sat down with the manager and he made it clear that I was not going anywhere so it was the end of the story.”
The 29-year-old, whose contract at Stamford Bridge runs until 2013, refused to rule out a move at its expiration, adding: “I have got three years left and if I am fit and well I hope to see out my contract here, and hopefully win some more trophies as well.”
No Bridge move yet.
Reports that Chelsea are set to ditch Stamford Bridge, their home for 105 years, and move to a new 60,000-seater at nearby Earls Court are thought to be inaccurate. According to The Telegraph, the news had leaked from the company who own the site of the Earls Court exhibition centre. The club had looked at the site more than three years ago, but ruled the move to be unfeasible.
A spokesman for the club said: “We will always look at proposals put to us and we get two or three of these a year. But we have no plans to move stadium at this time.” Current plans call for 8,000 new homes to be built on the site once the exhibition centre is demolished, but this would not yield as great a return as having the Premier League champions move to a new stadium there – hence why the offer is thought to have been made.
Lamps backs Rooney.
Frank Lampard has defended international team-mate Wayne Rooney, saying that the critics who brand the Manchester United player thick are, in fact, thick themselves. According to Sky Sports, Lampard’s statement come at a time when public perception of Rooney is at a low ebb due to the manner in which the player obtained a new contract at Old Trafford.
Lampard said: “He doesn’t speak to the press that much for them to make that judgement of him. He’s a confident boy, and he has a sensitive side to him. If you read the headlines of the last few weeks you can get an impression of someone but he’s a very sensitive lad, you can have a good conversation with him about anything you want. He’s a very cute, worldly lad for how young he is. He has no problem relating to older players, he treats everyone the same.”