Chelsea chief executive Ron Gourlay has warned that the new Premier League champions will not break the bank to keep England midfielder Joe Cole at the club.
The 29-year-old's current deal runs out this summer and Cole has been linked with the likes of Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool if he decides to move on.
Gourlay confirmed:"We will sit down and talk to Joe Cole at the end of the season and he knows that.
"We will do that with a number of players, but when it comes down to salaries you have to draw the line somewhere.
"Every time we push the wage levels up higher we have somebody else knocking at the door.
"We've got to make a mark in the sand at some point."
Cole moved to Stamford Bridge in the summer of 2003 from London rivals West Ham United and has since scored 38 goals in 291 appearances for the Blues in all competitions.