Chelsea chief Buck confident the Blues will keep hold of Cole

Chelsea chairman Bruce Buck insists that Joe Cole's contract situation will be soon be sorted out after the England midfielder played a major supporting role in Chelsea's 7-2 thrashing of Sunderland on Saturday.

Two goals apiece from Frank Lampard and Nicolas Anelka plus others from Florent Malouda, Michael Ballack and Ashley Cole, set the seal on a fabulous attacking performance from Carlo Ancelotti's side.

Sunderland managed consolation goals from substitute Bolo Zenden and Darren Bent but the victory kept Chelsea one point clear of Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League with a game in hand.

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Cole, who hit a post and set up Ballack's goal, was almost back to his brilliant best.

The England midfielder's contract expires in the summer and he is hoping to earn a place in Fabio Capello's squad for the World Cup finals in South Africa.

There has been much speculation over the midfielder's future at Stamford Bridge, but Buck believes contract negotiations with the player will be concluded sooner rather than later.

"I am personally a big fan of Joe Cole and we are in discussions with his agent and hopefully that will be sorted out soon," said Buck.

Buck also hinted that Chelsea would not be adding to their squad in the current transfer window. The Blues were banned from signing any players for two transfer windows after FIFA found them guilty of inducing teenager Gael Kakuta to breach his contract with Lens three years ago. But the Court of Arbitration for Sport suspended the punishment ahead of their appeal.

"With regards to January, we asked for the transfer ban to be suspended as an option because several months ago we didn't know if we were going to have any injuries or great opportunities for us to buy a player," added Buck.

"We have only used the January transfer window a couple of times. You don't buy players just to buy players, you buy them to fill the need or because they are a better player than the one we have in a particular situation."

Sunderland manager Steve Bruce is adamant that when his injured and suspended players return, his side will get their season back on track. The Black Cats were without first eight first-team players and have now failed to win in the league for eight games but Bruce said: "I don't like making excuses. We were beaten by a very good team and it hurt.

"I could not fault the players for their effort but we could not cope without our big players."

Lampard was last night honoured with the Football Writers' Association's Tribute award at an event at London's Lancaster Hotel.