Chelsea star Cole lined up for £12m Monaco deal

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Interest in experienced Chelsea defender Ashley Cole appears to be building significantly, with speculation suggesting that AS Monaco are ready to offer the player a two-year deal worth £12 million to move to the Stade Louis II.

This is according to The Daily Express, who further suggest that the Ligue 1 outfit have made initial approaches to Cole's camp, with the player said to be aware of such interest in his signature.

Since joining Chelsea under Jose Mourinho in a partial swap deal for fellow defender William Gallas on a dramatic deadline-day move during the summer of 2006, Cole has been a near-ever present for Chelsea under several different managers.

Rather surprisingly, however, his time as the undisputed first-choice left-back at Stamford Bridge has largely come to an end during Mourinho's second spell in charge.

And with his contract set to expire this summer, it appears increasingly likely that Cole - who seemed to be moved to tears at the end of Chelsea's final home game of the season against Norwich last weekend - will be allowed to depart the club shortly.

Whether Monaco - who look set to finish second in Ligue 1 this season with rivals and reigning champions Paris Saint-Germain having wrapped up another title success earlier this week - will prove an attractive destination to Cole remains to be seen, although there is certainly no disputing Monaco's financial capabilities since billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev first invested in the club.

Last summer, Monaco lavished huge sums of money to bring the likes of James Rodriguez and star striker Radamel Falcao to the principality, although manager Claudio Ranieri has been without the services of the latter in recent months after he required surgery on a knee injury.

Monaco would appear to face huge competition for the signing of Cole, with the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid and Liverpool said to hold an interest of their own in the England man.

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Ashley Cole
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