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Chelsea to tie Cole down as suitors hover

CHELSEA are poised to offer defender Ashley Cole a new contract worth more than &pound;100,000 per week in order to head off interest from Barcelona.<br /><br />The Spanish giants are thought to be ready to spend &pound;20m on the England left-back, while super-rich Manchester City have also been linked.<br /><br />Cole, 28, already earns in the region of &pound;80,000 per week but is reportedly set to be handed a five-year deal and a hefty pay hike in order to tie his future to Stamford Bridge.<br /><br />The former Arsenal trainee has enjoyed arguably his best season in Chelsea colours this year since moving across the capital in August 2006.<br /><br />England winger Joe Cole is also thought to be in line for a new deal, but uncertainty over the identity of Chelsea&rsquo;s next manager means doubts remain over the futures of more senior squad members such as Didier Drogba and Michael Ballack.