Monaco are among eight clubs in the hunt to sign Ashley Cole after the left-back revealed that he would be leaving Chelsea in the summer, according to The Telegraph.
Cole, who has won a string of trophies since arriving at Stamford Bridge in 2006, has seen his playing time reduced drastically by Jose Mourinho, thanks to his preference of Spanish full back Cesar Azpilicueta, who moved over from right back to fill in at left back, thus reducing Cole to a mere 15 starts in the Premier League, easily his lowest return of league appearances since bursting on to the scene at rivals Arsenal in the 2000-2001 season.
Monaco are not the only club reported to be chasing the signature of the one-time England left back, with Real Madrid, Manchester City, Liverpool and Inter Milan just some of the clubs that are vying for Cole’s signature.
Money should be no object for Monaco in their pursuit of the 33 year old. Bankrolled by billionaire businessman Dmitry Rybolovlev, the Russian has funded Monaco’s ultimately unsuccessful pursuit in claiming the Ligue 1 title, with Paris St Germain, a club also backed by a billionaire claiming the title, along with the French Cup and League Cup. The idyllic Monaco lifestyle, along with a substantial tax-free salary could lure Cole to the principality, ahead of clubs such as Real Madrid and Liverpool.
All in all, this has been a season to forget for Ashley Cole. In addition to losing his left back berth to Azpilicueta, Cole has seen his spot in the England team snatched away by marauding Everton left back Leighton Baines. Cole’s fall from grace was compounded when England manager Roy Hodgson decided against taking Cole to the World Cup in Brazil, opting instead to go with Baines and 18-year-old Southampton man Luke Shaw, bringing the curtain down on an England career in which Cole, a member of the ‘Golden Generation’ earned over 100 England caps, as well as appearing in three World Cups and two European Championships.
Cole however, is determined to continue his career at the top level. Despite Chelsea’s apparent reluctance to offer Cole anything more than a 12 month deal on vastly reduced terms, the defender is adamant that he has a couple of years left at the top and with Monaco amongst one of the clubs keen to sign the Englishman, it seems that they too share Cole’s conviction that he is not finished at the top level of football just yet.
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