Manchester United are considering a move for Chelsea full-back Ashley Cole, after the club refused to pay more than £12million to sign Leighton Baines from Everton.

According to the London Metro, last season's Premier League runners-up are monitoring the England defender's contract situation at Stamford Bridge, as the 31-year-old enters the final year of his current deal.

Sir Alex Ferguson is keen to recruit a new left-back this summer, to provide competition for stand-in skipper Patrice Evra, but refuses to meet the Toffees' £15million valuation for Baines.

United's decision to loan Brazilian youngster Fabio Da Silva to Queens Park Rangers, means Evra is the only recognised left-sided defender in the senior squad at Old Trafford.

Despite Cole's continued impressive form for the Blues, Roberto Di Matteo is yet to schedule renewed contract talks with the former Arsenal star, but the player is understood to be relaxed about the situation.

If no new deal is agreed, though, the Chelsea ace would be free to talk to foreign clubs in January, and could even walk away from west London on a free transfer next summer.

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