Manchester City have reportedly ruled themselves out of the running to sign Chelsea left-back Ashley Cole this summer, potentially leaving Liverpool with a clear-run at the player.
The former England international will soon be out of contract at Stamford Bridge and looks almost certain to leave rather than sign a new deal with the Blues.
As a result, he has been linked with a whole host of clubs both in England and further afield, with some talking about a possible switch to the MLS.
But Cole showed earlier this season – most notably in games against Atletico Madrid and Liverpool – that he still has much to offer. And at 33, he could still perform at the top level for a season or two.
With left-back something of a problem position at Anfield – despite the emergence and ability of Jon Flanagan to play on either flank – Cole has been touted as a possible solution. And while some Liverpool fans may shake their head at such a suggestion, he would certainly be a more effective option than former loan player Aly Cissokho.
City had been tipped to make a move, but the Manchester Evening News is now reporting that Manuel Pellegrini’s side have no plans to sign him.
That leaves – in England at least – Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur as the most likely destinations. However, Brendan Rodgers holds the trump card of Champions League participation, something Cole may well want to enjoy for a bit longer yet.