Di Matteo urges Chelsea management to keep Ashley Cole
Matteo's plea comes as speculation mounts that Manchester United are lining up a move to pinch the player Di Matteo hails as "the best left back in the world" on a free when his contract expires at the end of the season, reports the Daily Express.
He has urged Roman Abramovich and his directors to break the deadlock in talks over a new deal for the 31-year-old defender or risk losing him to United or a host of other clubs all over the world.
Matteo fears Cole and possibly Frank Lampard could go the same way as Didier Drogba did if the club's directors dither. And as far as Cole is concerned he believes Chelsea can't afford to let that happen - particularly with archrival Sir Alex Ferguson making no secret of his admiration for Cole.
"Negotiations are ongoing, but it needs to be sorted out. I would like him to stay with us. To me he is one of the best left-backs in the world. He is tactically superb both defensively and offensively and brings us a lot of attacking options. He is experienced, has stamina, everything," said Matteo.
Cole has only been offered a one-year extension by Chelsea in line with club policy of giving season-by-season deals to players over 30. (ANI)