Ashely Cole wants Champions League football, with Liverpool a potential option…
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Chelsea have released their veteran left-back Ashley Cole, and unsurprisingly, there is no shortage of suitors for his signature.
According to the Mirror, the 33-year-old will not sign a new contract with a side that isn’t competing in Champions League football.
In the Premier League alone, this rules out any side other than Liverpool, Arsenal (where there is no way he can return) and Manchester City – who have just won the Premier League with the effective rotating left-backs Gael Clichy and Aleksandar Kolarov.
Liverpool desperately need a new left-back, but there’s a strong chance a lucrative offer from abroad may tempt Cole instead.
Following an injury to Cole early in the season, Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho decided to pick Spanish 24-year-old Cesar Azpilicueta instead of Cole on the left side of the defence, and unfortunately for Cole, it was a decision that paid dividends for the Portuguese maverick. For the first time in his career, Cole was out of the side due to Azpilicueta’s outstanding form, and he’s missed out on Roy Hodgson’s England World Cup squad as a result.
Azpilicueta, or ‘Dave’, as he became affectionately known by the Chelsea supporters barely put a foot wrong, and was effective in the offensive half of the field as he was when his team needed him to perform his defensive duties.
Liverpool know they will have to compete with both Real Madrid and AS Monaco for his signature. While Saturday night’s Champions League winners are prepared to offer him an astronomical contract, the player himself will surely have doubts about his playing time with the likes of Marcelo and Fabio Coentrao already occupying the left-back spot.
Monaco though can pay Cole ludicrous wages, offer him the Champions League, and guarantee him first-team football. Although the Liverpool offer will no doubt make Cole think, the chance to live in the beautiful principality of Monaco while winding down one’s career could seem too much for Cole to reject…