AS Roma are leading the race to sign former Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, according to Sky Sports.

The defender spent eight years at Stamford Bridge before he became a free agent at the end of last season.

Interest

Cole has attracted interest from several clubs across Europe, including Barcelona and AC Milan, as well as MLS franchises further afield. A move to Liverpool was also alleged to have been on the cards at one point, as was a shock return to Arsenal.

However it seems he is opting for a move to the Italian capital where the 33-year old could sign a two-year deal.

Fond farewell

His departure from Stamford Bridge was greeted with disappointment amongst the Chelsea faithful as he proved on several occasions during the last campaign that despite his more mature years, he can still hack it at the top level.

When it was announced Cole would be leaving the club, an official Chelsea statement read: "We say goodbye to Ashley Cole, a player who contributed enormously to the highly successfully period in our history in which we were crowned champions of Europe and won the League and Cup double for the first time.

"His remarkably consistent high level of performance was always appreciated by the Chelsea support.

World Cup omission

The former England left-back - who earned 107 caps during his international career - has just returned from a holiday after he was left out of Roy Hodgson's England World Cup squad.

However, that seems to have had no bearing on the level of interest in securing the player's signature, and he is now due to fly to Italy to conduct talks with Roma, who finished second in Serie 'A' last season.

Topics:
Chelsea
Ashley Cole
Serie A
Premier League
Football