According to reports at the weekend, Liverpool are interested in taking Ashley Cole on a free transfer if he becomes a free agent in the summer.
The England international has spent his entire career in the capital, having progressed through the youth ranks at Arsenal to spend nine years at the club, which was interrupted only by a temporary spell at Crystal Palace during the 1999-2000 campaign. He joined Chelsea in the summer of 2006, in a move which saw France international defender William Gallas head to the Emirates Stadium as part of the deal.
Cole helped the Blues win the Premier League title under Carlo Ancelotti in 2010, and has also won four FA Cups and, in 2012, the UEFA Champions League. However, for the first time since establishing himself as a left fullback of genuine world class, the 33-year-old is struggling for regular first team football this season under Jose Mourinho, who currently prefers Cesar Azpilicueta, a usual right back, in his position.
With his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Cole is set to become a free agent in the summer. And with Mourinho widely tipped to take Luke Shaw from Southampton as his replacement, it looks increasingly likely that the former Gunners ace will be moving on to pastures new, and there are sure to be a number of offers on his plate.
It is believed he already has an package on the table from Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls, whilst it has also been mooted that Ancelotti is willing to offer him a reunion at Real Madrid. It has even been suggested that a return to Arsenal, where he would compete with Kieran Gibbs and Nacho Monreal for a starting berth, is a possibility.
However, according to the Sunday Mirror, another option in the Premier League could be a shock move to Liverpool. Reds boss Brendan Rodgers knows Cole well from his time working on the Chelsea coaching staff, and the left-back position is one in which he is struggling to fill with quality at present. Aly Cissokho, on loan from Valencia, has failed to impress, whilst Jose Enrique has played just nine times due to a knee injury.
The chances of Rodgers persuading the player to leave London and make the move to Merseyside would doubtless be bolstered if he can steer the Reds to UEFA Champions League qualification. A 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday leaves the Anfield club in pole position to finish fourth, some three points ahead of Tottenham Hotspur and a further two in front of neighbours Everton, with 13 matches left to fulfil.