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Real Madrid come in for Chelsea’s Cole to challenge Marcelo

Yet another club are linked with England centurion and Chelsea left back Ashley Cole, and this time Champions League hopefuls Real Madrid (16/5) are reportedly lining up £75k-a-week two-year contract for the player, who will be available on a free transfer in the summer.

The 33-year-old has been the subject of talk around a number of tabloid papers recently about a move to the Bernabeu, while the likes of Premier League second-favourites Liverpool (7/4), Galatasaray and franchises in the USA’s MLS are also said to be chasing him.

Cole has been frozen out of the first XI since being displaced by usual right back Cesar Azpilicueta in November, after starting nine out of the 10 opening league matches. He has since managed to feature four times out of a possible 22.

It looks ever more likely that Cole will not be offered a new deal to stay at Stamford Bridge at the end of the season, and Jose Mourinho will turn his attentions to signing someone with more youth on their side. The likes of 26-year-old Fabio Coentrao, who Mourinho managed at Madrid, is a reported £10m replacement.

Carlo Ancelotti knows Cole well, being in charge of Chelsea (current league third-favourites at 7/1) for two seasons, and the Englishman now has the chance to link up with the Italian once more.

Marcelo currently occupies the left back berth for Copa del Rey finalists Real (10/11), and is unlikely to be displaced, but if the offer is serious, surely Cole can’t pass up the opportunity to play for an club with such prestige.

Despite his lack of games for his club, England boss Roy Hodgson decided to start Cole in the recent 1-0 friendly win over Denmark. The 107-capped left back is still odds-on to make the World Cup squad in Brazil at 1/7, but is now behind Leighton Baines to start the first game against Italy with odds on 7/4. The Everton man, meanwhile, is priced at 4/9.