England international Joe Cole could stay with Chelsea after all, according to assistant coach Ray Wilkins.
The chances of Cole remaining at Stamford Bridge seemed remote when stories suggested new contract talks had broken down, but Wilkins has not given up hope of retaining the former West Ham United star.
Cole has been linked with Arsenal, Manchester United, Tottenham, Manchester City and the Hammers since saying he will not sign a new contract with the Blues when his current deal expires at the end of this month.
However, Wilkins told BBC Radio 5 Live's Sportsweek programme: "We've obviously been in dialogue with Joe for months now and it's pretty evident that Carlo (Ancelotti) 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."