Ex-Chelsea defender tipped for Italy move, not MLS - report

Ashley Cole

Ashley Cole still wants to play at the highest level, according to reports.

The 33-year-old was released by Chelsea this summer, after making 229 appearances for the club, and has been linked with a big-money move to the MLS.

However, Cole could now be set to join Serie A side Roma, report the Daily Express.

The Rome side enjoyed a fine season last term, finishing second in the Italian league, but finished 17 points behind champions Juventus.

Rudi Garcia's side have reportedly targeted a new defender as a priority and Cole fits the bill in terms of quality and experience.

The former England defender started out at Arsenal, before making a controversial switch to west London, where he worked under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea.

During Mourinho's second spell at the club, however, the 33-year-old fell out of favour at Stamford Bridge and was not awarded a new contract this summer.

  TeamPosCrossing Accuracy (%)Dribbles Won / appEffective Clearances / appTackles Won / appAppsMins
César Azpilicueta Chelsea DF 32.35 0.24 4.72 2.55 29 2,325
Ashley Cole Chelsea DF 23.53 0.53 1.76 1.59 17 1,386

As Opta stats show, Cole played a large part in the Blues' Premier League season, though he was outshone by Spaniard Cesar Azpilicueta.

Cole did, though, win more dribbles per game than his rival and produced a series of displays that were to a high standard, especially defensively.

The former Arsenal and Chelsea man was not selected for Roy Hodgson's squad at the World Cup but, with hindsight, many have asked if he would have been a better option than Leighton Baines and Luke Shaw.

Should he make the move to Roma, Cole will likely compete for trophies once more and also taste Champions League football again.

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