Friday 23 February 2018

Ashley Cole on Aston Villa's radar as Remi Garde looks for experience

Ashley Cole is out of favour at Roma and could be a target for Villa
Ashley Cole is out of favour at Roma and could be a target for Villa

Remi Garde wants to add experience to his squad in the January transfer window and the Aston Villa manager is interested in bringing Ashley Cole back to the Barclays Premier League.

Garde has only been in the job a month but already knows his team are entrenched in a relegation battle. Villa are bottom of the table with six points from 15 games - a position no Premier League side has ever survived from.

The Frenchman inherited a young squad from predecessor Tim Sherwood and he thinks a lack of old heads is the problem.

Garde will have some money to spend next month on squad strengthening and he is eyeing an ambitious move for his former Arsenal team mate Cole.

The 34-year-old left-back, who won three Premier League titles with Arsenal and Chelsea and has 107 England caps to his name, is in the final year of his contract at Roma but is out of favour at the Italian club having not featured so far this season.

Villa are also in need of a left-back after Jordan Amavi suffered a season-ending cruciate knee ligament injury last month.

``I will speak soon with the club. I am already working on the January window,`` said Garde ahead of Sunday's home against his former club Arsenal.

`` We know what we want to do. I feel we will need to improve the team to get more chances (of staying up).

``Experience is something we need. Ashley is someone who has experience but he didn't play for a while now.

``Every good player is interesting for me and he is a good player.

``We are going to try to improve the team in the transfer window but that is all I am going to say today. We have other games to try to win and I am only focused on that.``

Jack Grealish will be back in the Villa squad against Arsenal.

The 20-year-old midfielder was overlooked for first-team duty against Watford and Southampton following a breach of club discipline after he was photographed partying in Manchester just hours after Villa's 4-0 defeat at Everton last month.

Leandro Bacuna and Rudy Gestede came off injured against Saints last weekend but will be fit for Sunday, although captain Micah Richards is still struggling with the knee problem that ruled him out at St Mary's.

Press Association

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