Barcelona have reportedly identified Chelsea defender Ashley Cole as a potential summer acquisition.

According to The Mirror, Pep Guardiola has named Cole as his 'first choice' target and is willing to offer £12 million in an attempt to secure the England star's services.

The Barca boss is said to be a long-term admirer of the 31-year-old and will now have to convince president Sandro Rossell to approach Chelsea with a formal offer.

Real Madrid allegedly tried to prise Cole from Stamford Bridge last year, but Chelsea rebuffed the bid from the Spanish giants. Barca, however, remain hopeful they can succeed where Jose Mourinho did not.

Chelsea, though, are expected to dismiss any offers for Cole, with Andre Villas-Boas keen to keep hold of the former Arsenal defender.


Cole is widely regarded as the best left-back currently operating in the Barclays Premier League, and as one of the finest in world football.

The former Gunners full-back has won three league titles and six FA Cups in a distinguished career, while he has appeared 92 times for his country.

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