Report: Ex-Arsenal and Chelsea star Ashley Cole linked with MLS switch

Ashley Cole

After just one largely disappointing season with Roma, the left-back could be leaving Serie A to join Frank Lampard at New York City FC.

Ashley Cole’s time at Roma could be coming to an end after just one season in the Eternal City, with Gianluca Di Marzio reporting that MLS side New York City FC are after the former Arsenal and Chelsea left-back.

Cole, 34, has struggled to hold down a starting spot since joining the Italian giants in the summer, making just 16 total appearances and not seeing a single minute of action since mid-March.

The ex-England international’s contract is not set to expire until 2016 but Roma director Walter Sabatini is understood to have met with his entourage to discuss his future, with a possible exit on the cards.

A stateside reunion with former Chelsea teammate Frank Lampard at NYCFC is now said to be a potential option, although it would represent somewhat of an about turn for Cole.

Following his move to Roma, the veteran defender acknowledged that he had received offers from the US after leaving the Blues on a free transfer but claimed that he “didn’t want to just sit on the beach”.

Those comments saw him come in for criticism from a host of figures, including Liverpool legend and former New England Revolution head coach Steve Nicol and ex-US international Alecko Eskandarian, and one would imagine there might still be some lingering resentment.

Nevertheless, NYCFC are desperate for some experienced reinforcements, having started off their inaugural season in lacklustre fashion, recording just one win, three draws and five defeats in their first nine matches.

Their defence, in particular, has also been exposed on frequent occasions, with the weekend’s 3-1 home defeat to the Seattle Sounders highlighting the gulf in class between them and the league’s elite.

In that respect, Cole could well prove a solid addition for the expansion franchise, although it remains to be seen how he would be greeted across the pond given his recent remarks.

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for CHELSEA team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch