United put Cole on sale at £10m

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The Independent Football

Andy Cole has been put up for sale at Manchester United, but the England striker will find it hard to join a new club to save his World Cup dream.

Cole's name has been officially circulated in the last few days with the club's permission and several leading sides have been made aware that he can go. The one-time British record buy is on the market at around £10m and the United maanger, Sir Alex Ferguson, is happy to sell as long as he is given money for replacements.

Hurried calls have been made to test the water with clubs like Newcastle, Blackburn, Sunderland and Aston Villa possible destinations. Newcastle had considered a move for their old hero earlier in the season, but Bobby Robson's side has gone well with the players they have available.

Blackburn are also in urgent need of a striker, although Cole's age and big wages are proving a worry to their money men. Sunderland are potential bidders, with Peter Reid's snag being that Cole may be too similar to Kevin Phillips in style for an immediate bid.

Villa are keen on Cole, but would need to sell the Colombian Juan Pablo Angel to finance any deal. The South American may also be the subject of bids soon.

It is an anxious time for Cole, who is fed up with playing in the reserves but has not asked to go. However, all sides agree the possibility can be explored. The arrival of Ruud van Nistelrooy, along with Ferguson's reluctance to play two forwards, have restricted Cole's first-team options.

United tried to sell Dwight Yorke at the start of the season, but found no buyers. Now Cole will be hoping that his departure is easier and quicker.