Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that he would have recalled Carlton Cole from his loan spell at Aston Villa, had the rules allowed it.

Chelsea agreed to a season-long loan , but are allowed to bring him back to the club in January when the transfer window reopens.

Mourinho is without Didier Drogba through injury and with uncertainty over Adrian Mutu’s future. following his drug test failure, Chelsea are left with just two fit strikers in Eidur Gudjohnsen and Mateja Kezman.

“At this moment, we need strikers – but we don’t have any strikers,” said Mourinho.

“Carlton Cole, although on loan at Aston Villa, is not able to return until January. We are only in October.

“It is a pity the market is closed. If I could bring Carlton Cole back tomorrow, I would have to say yes.”