Rodgers offers Cole revival with Reds revolution
Chelsea (5/2 title second-favourites) and England star Ashley Cole is a reported target for Premier League trophy hopefuls Liverpool (3/1) in the summer, and he will be available on a free transfer.
Arguably the best left back in the world in his peak, Cole’s eight year spell at Stamford Bridge is set to come to an end after the season finishes, with his contract set to expire.
The 33-year-old has been used sparingly this term by manager Jose Mourinho – who has mostly preferred usual right back Cesar Azpilicueta – and has not played in the last 10 league games. He has featured in just 20 games in all competitions, compared to his Spanish rival’s 34.
Reports suggest that Brendan Rodgers, who was a coach at Chelsea for four years – two of which coincided with Cole’s term – is hoping to convince the club owners to go against their usual policy of not signing ageing players. The Northern Irishman hopes he can offer a one-year deal.
Liverpool have had to play most of the season without first-choice left back Jose Enrique, and so right sided Anfield youngster Jon Flanagan has taken his place for much of the campaign. Aly Cissokho, on loan from Valencia, has also deputised, but not given Rodgers any sign that he is worthy of a permanent offer.
MLS franchise New York Red Bulls is another option for the former Arsenal man, and have been rumoured to be interested in signing the Englishman. It remains to be seen, however, if Cole wishes to give it one last shot of success in the Premier League or exile to the USA.
Cole is still hoping to be on Roy Hodgson’s roster for the World Cup in Brazil, and he is still odds-on to make the 23-man squad, ahead of Luke Shaw (7/4). If picked, it will almost certainly be his last major tournament, and England are priced at 28/1 to give the 107-capped full back the perfect farewell gift by winning the competition.