Wednesday 20 September 2017

Cole pondering move to Monaco or Madrid

Ashley Cole has attracted interest from several of Europe's biggest clubs since announcing that he will leave Chelsea
Ashley Cole has attracted interest from several of Europe's biggest clubs since announcing that he will leave Chelsea

John Percy

Ashley Cole will consider lucrative offers from Monaco and Real Madrid as he prepares to leave Chelsea this summer after eight years.

Cole has received approaches from eight clubs, from the Premier League and overseas, and Monaco are ready to compete with Real Madrid in a wages war to secure the former England international on a free transfer.

The 33-year-old has not completely dismissed the prospect of staying at Chelsea, with his contract expiring at Stamford Bridge at the end of next month, though the chances are slim.

Chelsea are offering only a 12-month deal on reduced terms, so it seems more likely that Cole will pursue one final move before retiring, with Monaco understood to be keen to offer him a fresh start in France.

The super-rich Ligue 1 club, who are searching for a new head coach after former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri's sacking yesterday, are interested in Cole and will offer a mammoth tax-free salary.

Backed by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, Monaco could offer even better wages than Madrid. Liverpool and Manchester City have also made inquiries about the defender, while Inter Milan could also come into the equation.

Cole is on holiday in California while he decides his next move, but has made it clear that playing in the Major League Soccer in America is not an option.

He is convinced he can perform at the highest level despite a frustrating season where he lost his starting spot to Cesar Azpilicueta and made only 15 Premier League starts.

Cole, who may seek a two-year deal, tweeted: "Now I'll be looking for another journey in my life. I hope it can be like my others, full of fun and of course win something. I am weighing up my options for playing next season with my agent. Sadly, it does not look like Chelsea will be one of them." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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