Arsenal set to beat Manchester City in race to sign Chelsea's Joe Cole
Reports suggest the 28 year-old is prepared to leave Chelsea after the World Cup, and will turn down Manchester City in order to secure a switch to the Emirates. With Cesc Fabregas' future at Arsenal in serious doubt following interest from Barcelona, the Daily Mail reports that Arsene Wenger views Cole as an ideal replacement for the Spaniard, especially as he will be a free agent when his contract expires at the end of June. Related ArticlesBarca ponder next Fabregas moveCapello: Walcott not same player since injuryArsenal refuse to speak to Barcelona on FabregasArsenal reject £29m Fabregas offerArsenal prepare for life after GallasPremier League Transfer TalkChelsea, though, will fight to keep Cole at Stamford Bridge. The playmaker has also been a target for Manchester United, Tottenham and West Ham. But Chelsea assistant coach Ray Wilkins insists he and manager Carlo Ancelotti will be trying to persuade Cole to stay. Wilkins said: "We've obviously been in dialogue with Joe for months now and it's pretty evident that Carlo and myself would love Joe to stay but it's down now to the club to see what we can do. "We sincerely hope Joe stays with us - he's a smashing guy and he's a wonderful footballer so we'll keep our fingers crossed."
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