It seemed a quite ridiculous rumour that appeared online the other day when Ashley Cole was mooted as a possible transfer target for Manchester United. Cole has indicated very clearly that he wishes to finish his career at Chelsea and the notion of him moving to Old Trafford seems even to far-fetched for the biggest believers of football miracles to get behind.
But could Cole leave Chelsea?
It has been reported in some circles that any extension to his deal appears to have stalled under the weight of his wage and signing on fee demands. At 31 years old Chelsea won’t be keen on investing too much in the England full back and with some reports of a £200,000 a week wage demand a contract seems very unlikely.
Cole is one of the greatest left backs to ever play in the Premier League, in fact scratch that, he is the best; and has been one of the most consistent world class performers of the last 10 years and would attract huge interest if he was to put himself in the shop window.
A move this summer seems unlikely; another club in this circumstance would surely cash in on a player who turns 32 in December and whose contract runs out in a year but Chelsea are not exactly strapped for cash. Abramovich has previous in letting ageing stars contracts run their course and allowing them to leave on free transfers, Michael Ballack and Didier Drogba come to mind. This may be the future for Ashley Cole, leaving at his contract end next season.
He is apparently not keen on staying in the Premier League if he doesn’t remain at Chelsea so a move to Manchester City may be off the cards and I think we can all agree a shock return to Arsenal is tantamount to pigs flying.
Serie A may appeal to Cole where clubs like AC Milan have become a progressive haven for players approaching their twilight years, or perhaps he could follow in the footsteps of Beckham to the MLS or his former team-mate Drogba to China, where big money is available for some of footballs past stars.
So will this be Cole’s last season at Stamford Bridge, or will Chelsea stump up the cash?