Sunday 11 December 2016

Manchester United not too keen on Ashley Cole to fill Shaw void

Published 16/09/2015 | 13:09

Ashley Cole is out of favour at Roma
Ashley Cole is out of favour at Roma

Manchester United will not be making a move to sign former Arsenal and Chelsea defender Ashley Cole, despite reports that the Old Trafford club may look for a short-term replacement for the stricken Luke Shaw.

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United have confirmed that Shaw had an operation on his right leg after he suffered a double fracture in Tuesday night’s Champions League game against PSV Eindhoven.

Shaw was operated on in Holland shortly after he injured amid a challenge from Hector Romero and will return to Manchester to begin a recuperation process that could mean the 20-year-old full-back is out of action for the rest of this season.

That has sparked suggestions that United may look to sign veteran full-back Cole, amid suggestions last month that he had cancelled his contract and was looking to seal a free transfer back to the Premier League.

Cole is out-of-favour at Roma and looks unlikely to play for the Serie A club again, yet reports that he is now a free agent and could move to United as a short-term replacement for Shaw are wide of the mark as the 34-year-old is still tied into the final year of his contract in Italy.

Read more: Luke Shaw undergoes surgery on broken leg and will remain in a Dutch hospital

Cole would need to buy himself out of his deal with Roma or come to an agreement with the club to terminate his deal and then he would only be permitted to make another move when the transfer window reopens on January 1st.

A swoop for out-of-contract defender Ron Vlaar could be an option for United in the coming months, with the Dutch international who worked under United boss Louis van Gaal at last summer’s World Cup finals available on a free transfer after leaving Aston Villa.

However, 30-year-old Vlaar will not be able to provide a quick fix solution for Van Gaal and United as he is currently battling his way back to fitness following a knee operation in July.

Vlaar is expected to be back in action during the final weeks of 2015, but he could be a viable target for Van Gaal as he looks to shuffle his pack following the injury to one of his shining lights from the opening month of this season.

Van Gaal allowed Jonny Evans and Rafael to leave United in the summer transfer window and he may now be forced to end Marco Rojo’s exile from his line-up and move Daley Blind back to his more conventional full-back berth.

Meanwhile, United are hopeful that Shaw will play again this season, with a six-month recovery programme meaning he could return for the final few weeks of this campaign.

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