Ashley Cole has agreed a two-year contract with Serie A giants Roma and touched down in the Italian capital earlier today to finalise an intriguing switch across the continent for one of English football's greatest ever defenders.
Cole has decided to snub interest from Liverpool and Major League Soccer to prove he has what it takes to be a success on the continent at this relatively late stage of his career, with the 33-year-old relishing a fresh challenge and the chance to play Champions League football at the Stadio Olimpico next season.
Eternal City beckons for evergreen Cole
Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho made the decision to end Cole's Chelsea career by not offering him a new deal at the end of last season, after a campaign in which the left-back had largely been dropped in favour of the hugely impressive Cesar Azpilicueta.
Cole featured in less than half of Chelsea's Premier League games and as a result decided it was time to move in order to prolong his career.
The 107-cap international touched down in the Eternal City this morning and that update on the situation was put in the public domain by a post from Roma's official Twitter account, with confirmation of the free transfer expected in the next 24 hours.
Roma have decided to that Cole is worth handing a lucrative contract to and have a proven track-record of reviving the careers of Premier League stars in Serie A, with Maicon and Gervinho the most prominent recent examples of that encouraging trend.
Giallorossi boss Rudi Garcia is currently attempting to assemble a squad capable of meeting the demands of Champions League football next year after a brilliant debut campaign in charge of the Serie A giants, which included winning a record-breaking 10 successive matches to start last season in some style.
Cole will now fight for a regular starting spot with another veteran in Federico Balzaretti, while Greek international Vasilis Torosidis and Maicon were also switched to left-back at times last season to provide cover.
Garcia clearly believes that Cole's experience will serve him well in Serie A and has created one of the summer's most surprising transfers, one well worth keeping an eye on over the next 12 months as the Blues legend and former Arsenal stalwart becomes the latest Brit to try his luck on foreign shores.
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