Ashley Cole: Liverpool reportedly lead race for former England international

The left-back is out of contract at Chelsea but won't be short of options

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The Independent Football

Ashley Cole is free to find a new club following his exclusion from the England World Cup squad, with Liverpool reportedly leading the chase for his services.

The left-back sees his contract expire at Chelsea this summer and while a new deal hasn't been ruled out, Cole's tweets and tears after the final home game of the season suggest his time at Stamford Bridge is over.

The 33-year-old was in contention for a place on the England plane to Brazil, but after Roy Hodgson opted to take Luke Shaw and Leighton Baines instead, Cole can immediately turn his attention to resolving his future.

There have been a host of suitors linked with a move for Cole but Liverpool are reportedly leading the chase. With a wealth of experience including three Premier League titles, a Champions League medal and 107 international caps, it would seem only a move to a team competing at the top end of the table would be able to tempt Cole to remain in England.

Manchester United are understood to have firmed up their interest in Luke Shaw with a bid, leaving just former club Arsenal, champions Manchester City and Liverpool as viable options. A return to the Gunners seems out of the question owing to the manner of his departure while City are not in need of a left-back.


Liverpool meanwhile had to utilise right-footed Jon Flanagan on the left for much of the season, signalling their lack of cover. With Champions League football back on the agenda the experience and ability Cole could bring to Brendan Rodgers' flaky defence is undeniable.

There has also been suggestions Cole could be the latest fading European player to see out his career in the MLS.

While most of this summer's major transfers will probably have to wait until a golden trophy has been raised in Rio, the future of Cole could be resolved much sooner.