Roberto Di Matteo revealed he is "very optimistic" Ashley Cole will extend his Chelsea contract before the January transfer window opens.
Cole scored his first goal for 28 months to keep the Blues top of the Premier League at the weekend. Afterwards, Di Matteo hailed the left-back as a Stamford Bridge "legend" and claimed he remains hopeful Cole will agree to a new deal with the club, as his current contract expires next summer.
"I'm very optimistic that it will be dealt with before [January]," Di Matteo said. "He has become a legend - he is now Chelsea through and through.
"But I wouldn't say it's just happened recently. He's been here many years and has contributed a lot to this club. He's a fantastic pro, which I'm not sure whether you know.
"Somebody that's the first one out in training, one of the first into the building with JT [John Terry], trains every day like a professional, reliable, somebody that you could go to war with.
"And he's a very quiet guy as well. He's very private at his own stuff. He's one of the best left-backs in the world."
It is said that Cole suffers from a persistent ankle problem that can limit his ability to train but Di Matteo said: "He's physically very good, very strong, has the ability to recover very quickly from game to game. Offers us a lot on that left hand side."
Cole does not offer many goals but asked whether he would urge Cole to get forward more often, Di Matteo said: "He'll have to buy me dinner. That's what I'm going to ask him.
"For two years, he hasn't scored and now he has, so he should buy me dinner."