The Serie A novelty has worn off for Ashley Cole after less than four months, with reports suggesting he’s looking to quit Roma in January.
Having decided foreign football doesn’t float his boat, the 33-year-old is keen on a return to England, with Manchester United allegedly interested in offering him a passage back to the Premier League.
Despite this speculation, he remains 1/2 to remain on the Giallorossi’s books come the close of the next summer transfer window, while he’s 11/1 to pledge allegiance to the Red Devils’ cause and 5/1 to sign for any other non-English outfit.
Of all the Premier League clubs in the running, Liverpool are the most likely to land his signature at 8/1, with a Chelsea return priced at 9/1 and 12/1 saying he follows in Frank Lampard’s footsteps and heads to Manchester City.
It’s the Man Utd move that would best suit all parties though, with the benefits underlined below:
Those same sources intimating Cole’s days in the Italian capital are numbered suggests current coach Rudi Garcia isn’t convinced the Arsenal academy graduate has got the legs to comply with the high-velocity football he wants to play.
The Frenchman has already instructed underlings to source a suitable replacement according to the reports, but they’re likely need to make space on the wage bill before a second left-back can be brought in.
Louis van Gaal craves competition for £30m number three Luke Shaw, with the heir to Cole’s England throne currently enjoying free reign in the United ranks after the departures of Patrice Evra and Alexander Buttner in the summer.
Cole’s enormous experience renders him the perfect candidate to fulfil this role.
A further bonus is that, after spending shedloads of money on attacking reinforcements and still in need of defensive acquisitions, the Red Devils’ prospective ancillary left-back must be cost-effective, which is another box Cole ticks.
His place may temporarily come under threat, but is there a better tutor for a fledgling left-back than arguably the best one England has ever produced?
Cole’s arrival may mean the youngster is benched of occasion in the short term, but it’ll undoubtedly improve his game.