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Martin O'Neill has upped his interest in Chelsea midfielder Joe Cole, and concedes that Gareth Barry could still leave the club.

According to the fans, Joe Cole was Chelsea's Player of the Year last season. When he first broke through the ranks at the Academy of Football, he was touted as the next Paul Gascoigne. His technical superiority overshadowed his team-mates, and it is something he has maintained whether he plays for club or country.

With this, comes admirers, and one of those is Martin O'Neill who believes the Stamford Bridge side may be willing to sell considering their midfield is somewhat congested with the likes of Michael Ballack, Frank Lampard, Deco, Florent Malouda, Shaun Wright Phillips, Michael Essien, and John Obi Mikel, all competing for places.

"We have got just less than two weeks. I am hopeful we can sign some players. We are still actively trying to get some people in," Martin O'Neill told the Birmingham Mail, who, the paper reports, has a transfer budget of £25million to spend should he desire to.

"I've got the support of the chairman, who I think has shown his intentions and done exactly what he said he would in supporting the team." He continued: "We might get another three players in... I can get numbers in but I really want to try and get a bit of quality at the same time."

He concluded: "I'm pretty pleased with what we've done, no-one has seen Cuellar play here other than his UEFA Cup run with Rangers, no-one really knows enough about what Sidwell could do. But it's great, it's competition for places which is exactly what I wanted."

One player who could still leave the club before the window closes on September 1st is Gareth Barry. Liverpool and Aston Villa have been at loggerheads over a suitable fee for the England international with the Villans holding out for £18million.

"At this minute it's not completely resolved," the former Celtic manager said. "We want him to stay, I think that's obvious. I think the fans want him to stay and for the length of time it has gone on it is hard to pre-empt anything."
 

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joe cole is probaly the best midfield in chelski him and essien.. but dont see him joining villa as he keeps on saying he staying wiv chelski and going to fight for his place
 

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not a chance will chelsea sell cole.he is their flair player.but i heard today they are gonna make another signing.but i truely couldn't see cole leaving,not for aston villa anyway.but we'll see.
 

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Joe Cole is a fantastic player hes fast and able to do anything from assisting to scoring
and getting him to villa is great business
 

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f**k me....... J.Cole is brill, he would make any team in the prem!
I cant see Chelsea letting him go, but if Kaka comes in he might be on the way out.
Villa would be a great attacking side with him and young there... both futher regulars with England
 
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