Chelsea pull out of £30m transfer race - Manchester United in the clear?

Chelsea are searching for Ashley Cole's successor, but have pulled out of the race to sign Southampton left back Luke Shaw.

The Blues' 0-0 draw with Norwich City on Sunday afternoon all but signalled the end of their title hopes for this season, and whilst Liverpool's collapse at the hands of Crystal Palace on Monday has given them some hope, it still looks unlikely that Jose Mourinho will win the Premier League in his first season back at Stamford Bridge.

Whether they managed to clinch the title or not, it always appeared that Mourinho would be busy in the transfer market this summer as Chelsea look to replace their old guard, and one of those seemingly heading for the exit is leeft back Ashley Cole, who was visibly upset at leaving the pitch after the Norwich game - which could be his final appearance for the club.

Mourinho has long been linked with a huge swoop for Southampton's 18-year-old starlet Luke Shaw, who earned his first England cap against Denmark earlier this year after a superb season on the South Coast. A £30m price tag had been placed on the youngster's head, but reports today suggest that Mourinho believes that is too expensive.

As a result, Chelsea are allegedly pulling out of the race to sign Shaw and will instead focus their interests on Sevilla's 21-year-old left back Alberto Moreno, who has impressed over the last couple of seasons at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.

Moreno will almost certainly be a lot cheaper than Shaw, and if the Spaniard is indeed the new primary target at Stamford Bridge, it means that Manchester United will be left in the clear to snap up Shaw.

United are also set to move on from their old guard this summer with Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand poised to leave the club, as well as long-serving left back Patrice Evra. The Frenchman has been a terrific servant at Old Trafford for many years, but with United's interest in Shaw now public knowledge, it certainly seems that they are set to move on - and with Chelsea pulling out of the race, their task has been made easier.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for MANCHESTER UNITED team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch