Lampard wins backing to sign Cole
Derby County owner Mel Morris is prepared to back manager Frank Lampard with the signing of Ashley Cole until the end of the season, as the club push for promotion and make progress in the FA Cup.
Having lined the deal up before Christmas, it looks like Lampard will now get his former Chelsea team-mate Cole, 38, as cover at left-back.
Derby have been at the limits of their playing budget this season but Morris has been encouraged by the progress made, especially after the victory on penalties away to Southampton in the FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday.
It means that there will be special dispensation given to cover the salary of Cole until the end of the season. Cole has been without a club since the Major League Soccer season ended in late October and is keen to play again in England before he makes any decisions about retirement.
Lampard was aware when he took the job that there would be limitations placed on him financially but the Cole deal makes sense in terms of the profile of his squad, as well as there being a certain attraction for the club in signing such a big name.
Sixth in the table, Derby have struggled for squad depth in recent weeks, especially defensively. The move for Cole means they will allow Aberdeen to keep their on-loan left-back Max Lowe until the end of the season. (© Daily Telegraph, London)