Chelsea manager José Mourinho has revealed that defender Ashley Cole is close to returning to full training, but he does not want to reveal if the former Arsenal man will be recalled to the first-team when he comes back to the squad.

After being first-team regular throughout his career, Cole is finding himself as a backup to Azpilicueta, who is a right back played out of position. It is widely expected that Cole will leave Chelsea at the end of the season. He has been used sparingly in the second half of the campaign after committing several mistakes in the first.

Cole has been linked with the likes of Real Madrid and Paris St Germain, while the possibility of even moving to the MLS is not out of the question. The defender has reportedly been offered an £ 8 million contract for two years by the Spanish club. It would see him reunited with his former manager Ancelotti. Even though he played under Carlo Ancelotti only for two years, it was widely remarked as the best seen from Cole yet. Meanwhile, Mourinho said that the likes of Samuel Eto’o and John obi Mikel are not too far from returning to first-team action.

Marco van Ginkel has also returned to light training after more than six months out with an anterior cruciate ligament injury.
“I can’t say a match or a date where I expect him to be back,” said about the fitness of Eto’o. Cole is out of contract in the summer and he is widely expected to leave Chelsea after seven years at the club. During this period, he has won all major trophies including the Champions League, which turned out to be his first after two successive failures in the final. Jose Mourinho was giving the update ahead of the Aston Villa match.