Chelsea are being linked with a shock move for Tottenham Hotspur defender Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

The Cameroonian international has just returned to training at White Hart Lane after a four-week absence with a knee injury, with the 28-year-old stepping-up his rehabilitation during the international break.

His return coincides with speculation that Chelsea are considering a surprise transfer move for the player, as the fall-out from Ashley Cole's potential Stamford Bridge exit continues.

Cole is in the final year of his contract in west London, and with only a 12-month extension on the table for the 31-year-old, reports in the Daily Mail claim the England international is set for talks with five different clubs over a possible free transfer move at the end of the campaign.

Were Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo to lose Cole, he would almost certainly need to buy a replacement for the seven-time FA Cup winner, and Assou-Ekotto is said to be one of the players on the Blues shortlist.

Both The Guardian and Italian website TMW claim the Tottenham Hotspur left-back has come to the attention of the Blues boss, with Assou-Ekotto's consistency an undoubted positive.

The full-back has proved the doubters wrong over the past seven-years at Spurs, becoming a first-team regular and forming a formidable partnership with Gareth Bale down the left flank for both Harry Redknapp and now Andre Villas-Boas.

His start to the current campaign was impressive, before injury forced the player to take a spell on the sidelines, with Kyle Naughton and Jan Vertonghen stepping in down the Tottenham Hotspur left.

That would be a regular occurance if Assou-Ekotto were sold to Chelsea, although it's unclear if ex-Blues boss Villas-Boas would be willing to deal with Roman Abramovich whilst in his new north London role.

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