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Sunday Times

Chelsea accused of ‘tapping up’ Cole in hotel
Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein reacts angrily to reports that their London rivals approached their England defender about a move to Stamford Bridge

CHELSEA have been accused of making an illegal approach to the Arsenal and England left-back Ashley Cole. It was reported last night that the club’s chief executive Peter Kenyon and manager Jose Mourinho, along with the ‘super agent’ Pini Zahavi, met Cole at a west London hotel last Thursday afternoon. If true, the approach would be in breach of Premier League rules.

After being told of the alleged meeting by the News of the World, the Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein said: “This is a very disturbing matter and we will deal with it very seriously. Ashley Cole is under contract to Arsenal until 2007. He is our player and we intend to make sure he remains our player.”

A Chelsea spokesman denied the story, but the newspaper claimed to have a sworn affidavit from a businessman who allegedly saw Kenyon, Mourinho, Zahavi and Cole emerge from the private Green Room at the Royal Park hotel.

Cole is understood to earn around £27,000 a week at Highbury, but is aware that Frank Lampard and John Terry, his fellow England players at Chelsea, are on up to three times that figure at Stamford Bridge. It is thought that he believes the Highbury club’s wage structure makes it difficult for Arsène Wenger’s team to keep pace with Chelsea, who are 10 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premiership.

Premier League rule K3 forbids clubs from talking to players under contract elsewhere, unless they have that club’s permission. It states: “Any club which by itself, by any of its players, by its agent, by any other person on its behalf, or by any other means whatsoever, makes an approach either directly or indirectly to a contract player shall be in breach of these rules and may be dealt with under the provisions of Section R (disciplinary procedures).”

It is not the first time Kenyon has been caught up in a ‘tapping’ controversy. A paparazzi photographer caught him holding talks with the England coach Sven-Göran Eriksson last March, when Chelsea were still being managed by Claudio Ranieri. Kenyon claimed that the discussions, which took place at his London home, were “informal” and that Eriksson had not been offered the Chelsea job, but in the storm that followed, the Swede committed to a longer contract with the Football Association.

Last night, the Premier League said that it would regard the alleged approach as “a victimless crime” until such time as an official complaint is received. It is thought that Dein will seek more information on the allegation before deciding what Arsenal’s response should be.

There was further speculation yesterday about the future of Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard, who has been linked with a £30m move to Chelsea in the summer. Admitting that he was flattered by the interest, Gerrard said: “I’ll sit down at the end of the season and assess my future.”

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Cole won't leave, but Chelsea should be given an 11 point fine if you ask me. :wallbang: they know who has the better players. :rollani:
 

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Chelsea have way to much money than sense, why not buy Bill gates why your at it? That's right there is someone richer than the Russian
 

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agree ...and he is the best left back today in the world ... i think he loves the club he wont quit arsenal ever ,,, i dont think he is a guy who follow the greens just like others ,,
 

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20m, i'd take it and start playing clichy
 

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yeah but v.persie isnt as good as henry IS HE????
 

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and henry would cost more then that
 

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Maybe not quite yet but a season of regular football and he will be.
 

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Petros your really something :howler:
 

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you two have no idea what you are talking about. I doubt you have even see clichy play before.......you don't even support Arsenal ffs, you know nothing.
 

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Put it this way, at 19 cole was nowhere near as good as clichy is.


sell cole for 20m. Put clichy as left back. Buy a centre back and a keeper and a centre midfielder. sorted.
 

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im not saying that we should do that, but that,i wouldnt mind
 

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Sell cole? naaa, cole is the best leftback in the world, we sell him, and we will only get weaker, cm we will get one hopefully now or next season, a CB is Vital, same for the GK.
 

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Those fvcks, who suggest selling Cole should go to a nearest brothel and sell their asses.... Cole must never leave Arsenal...
 

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bokiko said:
agree ...and he is the best left back today in the world ... i think he loves the club he wont quit arsenal ever ,,, i dont think he is a guy who follow the greens just like others ,,
zambrotta is the best leftback in the world, cole would be second to him.
 
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