Ancelotti reiterates Cole stance

Carlo Ancelotti has no plans to speak to Ashley Cole about his Chelsea future – because he has no intention of selling him.

England left-back Cole has been repeatedly linked with a move to Real Madrid this summer, amid reports he wants to quit the UK following revelations about his private life.

However, on Friday Blues boss Ancelotti refused to budge on his hardline stance over the 29-year-old, who is less than a year into a four-year contract at Stamford Bridge.

"I don’t need to speak with Ashley Cole," said the Italian, before reiterating his position on the matter.

"I read that Ashley Cole wants to leave.

"My answer was I want Ashley Cole to stay at Chelsea because he’s a fantastic player and there is no price for which sell him."

Ancelotti insisted he had heard nothing from Madrid about Cole, who was brought to Chelsea four years ago by their new manager Jose Mourinho.

And he rubbished comparisons with the departure of Joe Cole, who left for Liverpool last month despite the Italian having previously been confident he would stay.

"Joe Cole was a financial problem – it was not a technical problem," Ancelotti said.

"They didn’t achieve an agreement with the club about his salary. This is not the problem of Ashley Cole.

"Ashley Cole has a contract – I don’t know how long is his contract – and you want to respect this."

Ancelotti confirmed Cole would start Sunday’s Community Shield clash, which comes almost a year to the day since the Italian’s first competitive match in charge of Chelsea.

He confessed to having doubts when he first took over at Stamford Bridge and claimed he was a better manager than a year ago.

"I have more knowledge about my players, about my club, about the atmosphere in England, about the English teams," said Ancelotti, who nevertheless expects retaining the Premier League title he won at the first attempt to be tougher than relieving Manchester United of it proved.

"I think for us it will be more difficult this year because everyone knows that they have to play the winner from last year," said Ancelotti.

"We have to pay attention because we could have a surprise every game.

"For this reason, I think we have to maintain better concentration – if we want to maintain the same level that we achieved last year."

That was enough to win the double, an even tougher act to emulate.

But Ancelotti said: "The pressure is the same.

"We start this season with the aim to win something, the aim to be competitive until the end of the season.

"If we are able to win again this year, that could be fantastic."

Recalling Chelsea’s one major disappointment from last term, he added: "Obviously, we want to do better in the Champions League."