A few days ago, Ashley Cole took to Twitter to declare that his time at Stamford Bridge appeared to be over and that he was considering some options. The phrase “Chelsea and England left back” was removed from his bio on Twitter and using the same medium, he posted that “I am weighing up my options for playing next season with my agent and sadly it does not look like Chelsea will be one of them”.
The defender, capped more than a hundred times for England is currently on holiday in California, but will need to make some decisions when he returns, as it seems although Chelsea may not require him for the new season, an orderly queue of clubs offering alternative employment is forming.
Two clubs from across the channel seem keen to offer Cole a period of French leave. Ligue 1 clubs PSG and Monaco are both thought to harbour thoughts of Cole joining. The Monaco scenario may have been complicated somewhat by the departure of Claudio Ranieri, but it’s questionable anyway as to how much input the Italian had in transfer moves, so the south of France could still be on the cards. PSG on the other hand, are very much the dominant force in French football, and a move there could well prove attractive as the option of winning things is greatly increased.
Former manager Carlo Ancelotti is also an admirer of the player and some reports are suggesting that should he remain in post at the end of the season, a move to secure the player on a two-year, £10million deal could be floated. Linking up with his old manager may well prove attractive to Cole, and as with PSG, Real Madrid can certainly offer Cole the ‘top table’ standard of football that he craves.
Should he fancy staying in the Premier League, Cole may also have a couple of options. Brendan Rodgers has been linked with a move for the player as he seeks to strengthen a defence that proved the Achilles Heel of Liverpool’s title challenge last season. Parachuting Cole into the defence would not only add quality, but also the experience that the club will surely be wanting for their Champions League campaign next term.
There is also talk of Manchester City keeping a watching brief on the situation, but with Clichy and Kolarov already in attendance there, should Cole choose to accept any offer from the Etihad, he would surely face a battle to claim the regular first team football that would be vital to him at 33 years of age.
There remains a glimmer of hope that Cole may still be at Stamford Bridge when the new season starts however. The club have already granted a new one year contract to John Terry and Frank Lampard may also sign soon. Should Cole think a one year deal is sufficient an agreement could still be a possibility. The problem may be however that Cole would be ill-prepared for the sort of change in his role as experienced by Lampard for example. The club’s record scorer is certainly not a regular first eleven choice anymore, and has had to take opportunities when offered.
For Cole however, it could be a case of when one door closes, another one opens. The choice to be made could be which of a number of doors he should choose.
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